Minister concerned that Namibia still experiences sporadic outbreak of measles

WINDHOEK: Health and Social Services’ Minister Richard Kamwi today expressed concern that Namibia still experiences sporadic outbreaks of measles, which is an indication that all children are not fully-vaccinated.

Launching the National African Vaccination Week 2014 in the capital, he said although there was over 80 per cent immunization coverage last year, seven out of 35 districts could not achieve the expected 80 per cent immunization coverage for all vaccines.

It is estimated that 17 632 children have not received the recommended immunizations for their age, and this is a huge concern.

The immunization coverage in 2013 shows some improvement over previous years, with 89 per cent of infants receiving the recommended three doses of Pentavalent vaccine, which protects against five diseases – diphtheria, whooping cough, tetanus, hepatitis and haemophilus influenza, and 83 per cent of infants were vaccinated against measles.

The minister, therefore, called on all Namibians to take advantage of the National African Vaccination Week slated for 19 to 23 May this year, and to check whether all children are up-to-date with the vaccines they need.

All children aged zero to 59 months (under five years) will be vaccinated against preventable diseases such as tuberculosis, polio, diptheria, whooping cough, tetanus, hepatitis B, influenza and measles.

All children from six months to 59 months will be given Vitamin A supplements.