Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Inadequate staff to hamper Measles Campaign

By Meluse Kapatamoyo

As Zambia’s Fourth National Measles campaign kick-starts from September 10 to 15, 2012, challenges of staff may hamper the K34billion Campaign budget allocated by the government to vaccinate children.
Areas like Ndola have reported having a short-fall of staff by over 50 per cent to carry out the immunisation campaign.
Recently, the Ndola District Medical Office reported that there were only 120 out of the 290 staff needed. The district would fail to meet its target of 240, 000 children if the number of staff was not beefed up.
Measles is a highly contagious viral disease, which affects mostly children. It is transmitted via droplets from the nose, mouth or throat of infected persons. It is one of the major causes of childhood morbidity and mortality in children under the age of five if not well treated.
The ministry of Community Development, Mother and Child Welfare is targeting about seven million children, inclusive of those who had been vaccinated before.  

According to experts, the first dose given to a baby at nine months old does not develop the protective response in some children, hence the need for a second dose which increases the protective response in children and likelihood of immunity.

In its latest report, the World Health Organisation (WHO) revealed that the number of deaths from measles has declined by about three-quarters over a decade, 200-2010. However, most deaths were recorded in India and Africa, where fewchildren are immunised.
More than 9.6 million children were saved from dying from measles between the said period, after big vaccination campaigns were rolled out.PYM.

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