Monday, March 28, 2011

Health officials want parents to make children available for vaccination

NEWS BANJUL THE GAMBIA (MB)- At a joint press conference held at the National Malaria Control Programme conference hall, the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare and its development partners on Wednesday 23rd March, called on parents to ensure that children under five years are vaccinated against the disease.

Health officials said the forthcoming nationwide immunization campaign is slated for lunch on Friday 25th March at the Kanifing Municipal Council (KMC). The first round of the campaign is set to end on 28th March, 2011, and a second round will be held from April 22-25, 2011.

Speaking at the press conference, Rohey Njie-Saidy, a Health Promotion Officer at the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, said the campaign targets more than 391, 000 children across the country.

The campaign, she highlighted that will take a form of house to house approach in order to ensure that all children are vaccinated and it does not matter whether they had completed their routine vaccination schedule in their various health centres.

The UN agency working for the welfare of children, UNICEF said it has facilitated a nationwide sensitisation campaign on immunization against polio. The United Nations Children Fund Representative Mr. Ousman Manneh told reporters that the sensitisation campaign was held at regional, district and community levels. This, he said was a preparatory approach for the polio vaccination campaign.

Another Health Promotion Officer at the World Health Organisation (WHO), Mr. Momodou Gassama, said the campaign is jointly organised by the Government of The Gambia, the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, WHO and UNICEF.

Gassama explained that the signs and symptoms of polio are mainly fever and can quickly result into the weakness of limbs paralyzing the affected child and subsequent death. 
The disease, he said is communicable, caused by germs and children can become victims of the disease if they consume contaminated water or food.

He further stressed that every child have right to good health, while reiterating that the partnership between the Government and development partners is critical in the fight against the disease.

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