BY PHYLLIS MBANJE
GOVERNMENT on Monday launched a Typhoid Conjugate Vaccine (TCV) mop-up exercise aimed at ensuring that children who missed the jab in May this year can be inoculated.
Over four million children in Zimbabwe received the lifesaving TCV in schools and clinics after the Health ministry, with support from the World Health Organisation (WHO), embarked on a 10-day multi-antigen vaccination drive aimed at children aged between nine months and 15 years.
WHO country office director Alex Gasasira yesterday told NewsDay that the mop-up exercise would be a great opportunity to save the lives of many young people.
“The vaccine is effective and the mop-up is an opportunity to curb the disease, although communities must practise and observe good hygiene,” he said.
The campaign is targeting six million children older than six months to access the Inactivated Polio Vaccine and a Vitamin A supplement. Girls aged between 10 and 15 years have also received the first and second doses of the Human Papillomavirus Vaccine.
On Monday, most polyclinics in the country rolled out the mop-up vaccination exercise for those that had missed the May campaign. It will run through to tomorrow.
The vaccination teams are targeting shopping centres as well as homes. Over the years, Zimbabwe has been experiencing perennial typhoid and cholera outbreaks as a result of inconsistent supply of clean water and inadequate sanitation, and hygiene services.
Typhoid and cholera thrive under unhygienic conditions, which call for urgent preventive measures to deal with them to protect the population, particularly children.
Follow Phyllis on Twitter @pmbanje