The Minister of Health Dr. Chitalu Chilufya has advised parents and caregivers to take their children for Child Health Week vaccinations, which commenced on the 23rd of November, 2020 and will end on the 28th of November, 2020.
Speaking during the national launch in Lusaka’s Chawama area on Monday, Dr. Chilufya said 3.4 million children will receive vaccinations at a cost of USD 4.4 Million.
“In the year 2019, we have a measles outbreak in Navushimanda which claimed 41 children. We have pockets of measles outbreak in certain parts of the country. Government will not sit idle until it protects all children from vaccine related illness including measles and Rubella,” he said.
He also stated that if Rubella affected a pregnant women, it would lead to many challenges for the unborn baby, including deafness.
Dr. Chilufya said: “Child health is the engine for national development and we will therefore invest early in the first 100 days of a child’s life.”
He further appealed to all mothers and caregivers to take their children to designated facilities to ensure that children are given necessary vaccines.
Dr Chilufya further urged all health workers to carry out the exercise diligently from all health posts and static facilities.
He further directed that this should be done within the confines of the guidelines of COVID-19.
Meanwhile, area councilor Tasila Lungu Mwansa thanked the Ministry of Health and cooperating partners for launching Child Health Week and encouraged mothers to take their children. UNICEF representative Malti Gandi also noted: “With the support of the governments of Sweden, Germany, and the United Kingdom, UNICEF has been able to directly procure traditional vaccines that will cover Zambia’s needs for 12 months.”
WHO representative Shikanga O-otipo urged health workers to do their best in this campaign while ensuring that health guidelines are adhered to.
Speaking to S24, a mother from Chawama, Caroline Sachipe encouraged all mothers who live in close proximity to a clinic so their children can get vaccinated and their growth can be monitored by health personnel.
Mother, Brenda Nachilima was happy to take her child to a health center at Chawama grounds and urged her fellows not to be lazy but take their children for Child Health Week, so they can receive adequate doses of vaccines and vitamins for their growth.
Lusaka District Commissioner David Silibanji also challenged health professionals to reach all children in their catchment area.