Wednesday, June 7

MOH to embark on Measles and Rubella vaccination campaign –

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By Binta Jaiteh

After confirming the outbreak of measles and Rubella, a deadly disease affecting children which most of whom are under five years, the Ministry of Health will embark on a vaccination campaign across the country for children to strengthen the immunization system from 23rd to 27th of MAY 2023.

Speaking on Thursday at the Central Medical Store in Kotu, Mbayang Johm, Program Officer for EPI at the MOH in her presentation said measles is an acute viral illness caused by a virus and it is characterized by fever, malaise, cough, coryza, and conjunctivitis, followed by a maculopapular rash.

She said the rash usually appears 14 days after exposure and spreads from head to trunk to lower extremities. Measles can result in complications such as pneumonia, encephalitis, and death. Rubella, also called German measles, is similar to measles and its symptoms and signs are maculopapular rashes, cough, coryza, conjunctivitis, fever, and malaise. 

According to her, the MR vaccine is available in the routine immunization services and there are two doses given at 9 months and 18 months. The Ministry of Health through the Expanded Programme on Immunization (EPI) and National Nutrition Agency with support from partners (UNICEF, WHO, and GAVI) is conducting Measles and Rubella vaccination campaign in twelve districts. 

However, this campaign will be integrated with other child survival services like Vitamin A supplementation, deworming, and routine immunization services. Measles and Rubella vaccine for 9 Months to 5 years old children.

She added that Vitamin A supplementation for 6 Months to 5 years old children, and deworming tablets for 1 to 5 years old children.

The Strategy/delivery mode, she said, is outreach or “bantaba” approach meaning community centers, schools, mosques, churches, ferry crossing points, markets, POEs, and strategic locations where children can be accessible for vaccination. 

The 12 districts that couldn’t meet targets are the only ones involved in this campaign, KMC, Kombo North and South, Kombo Central, Foni Berefet, Foni Bintang, Foni Jarrol, Lower Saloum, Fuladu East, Tumana, Central Badibu, Upper Badibu.