Vaccination drive forges ahead

Rumbidzai Muparutsa
GOVERNMENT has expressed satisfaction with the ongoing cholera vaccination campaign, a secondary intervention to prevent future outbreaks after the disease was put under control.

The Sunday Mail understands that the administration of vaccines to individuals in high-risk areas — Glen View, Budiriro, Glen Norah — saw 15 percent of the estimated 423 000 targeted persons getting anti-cholera doses on the first day of the first phase last Wednesday.

The vaccination has been divided into two phases, with the first ending this Wednesday and the second being rolled out just before the start of the rain season with a  target of 900 000 people.

Selected suburbs in Harare, as well as Epworth and Chitungwiza, will be covered in round two.

The vaccines are active for three to five years and will help curb cholera, which has killed around 50 people and seen about 10 000 undergoing treatment.

Director of Epidemiology and Disease Control in the Health and Child Care Ministry, Dr Portia

Manangazira, said: “We receive daily updates from the 40 vaccination centres. On the first day we managed to vaccinate 15 percent of our target. Attendance at all vaccination centres has been good for all age groups.”

Dr Manangazira said Government officials leading the fight against cholera had shown support by also getting vaccinated.

“The Minister of Health and Child Care Dr Obadiah Moyo was the first to be vaccinated,” she said. “We have had a request by Members of Parliament to be vaccinated as they lead their constituents.”

She went on: “Looking at the rapid spread of the disease and high numbers of deaths, this was an effective way to curb further spread from Harare before the rains would potentiate nationwide and unprecedented spread.”

The 40 vaccination points include schools, community points, markets and churches.

Dr Manangazira said the Health Ministry had deliberately omitted clinics because they are already seized with attending to cholera patients.

She said Government continued to emphasise that adequate safe water, proper solid waste management, sewage reticulation and basic personal hygiene remained the primary prevention methods.

Dr Manangazira said they had not recorded cases of negative reactions to the vaccine.

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