Health

MoHSS records reduction in childhood immunisation

Summary

The Ministry of Health and Social Services has recorded a reduction in childhood vaccinations against Measles and Rubella, as well as the Oral Polio Vaccine, Inactivated Polio Vaccine, Rotavirus and Pneumococcal vaccines in recent years.One of the reas…

The Ministry of Health and Social Services has recorded a reduction in childhood vaccinations against Measles and Rubella, as well as the Oral Polio Vaccine, Inactivated Polio Vaccine, Rotavirus and Pneumococcal vaccines in recent years.

One of the reasons for this was the interruption of routine immunisation during the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Minister Kalumbi Shangula, during the launch of the two-week National Integrated Immunisation Campaign in Windhoek on Wednesday, stressed that these trends may have serious repercussions on the country, particularly with the re-emergence of Wild Polio Virus that has been reported in Malawi and Mozambique, as well as the circulating Vaccine Derived Polio Virus in the sub-region.

“Low immunisation amongst children means children are susceptible to several childhood diseases and risk hospitalisation and even death at a very young age. It is important to note that if every Namibian child or at least 90 per cent of our children are up to date with their routine immunisation, then diseases such as measles and polio and many others are completely preventable,” Shangula noted.

He emphasised the importance of parents and all leaders advocating and ensuring that children get taken to the nearest outreach vaccination site or clinic or hospital to get all vaccines they are eligible for to keep them healthy.

“Children who complete their immunisation schedule recover from childhood diseases faster when they get sick, compared to those who did not. Furthermore, vaccinated children grow up to be healthier adults,” Shangula highlighted.

The campaign is aimed at ensuring that Namibian children are vaccinated and protected from childhood diseases and to prevent COVID-19 disease.

Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila at the same event expressed that the success of the immunisation programme depends on the commitment of all partners and stakeholders involved.

“Thus, coordination among stakeholders is of utmost importance. Government urges all health workers in the public and private sector, development partners, religious and faith and community-based organisations to keep up the joint efforts towards the attainment of Sustainable Development Goal 3, namely, to “ensure health and wellbeing for all, at every stage of life”.

Source: The Namibian Press Agency