At least 5 million children aged between nine months and 15 years are set to be vaccinated against Measles Rubella.
Children between six months and 59 months will also receive Vitamin A supplementation under the catch up campaign that will run from the 28th to the 2nd of October across the country.
Members of the Apostolic sects attended the launch of the National Measles Rubella Catch-up Campaign and Vitamin A supplementation in what has been interpreted as fruits of intensive campaigns that no child should die from vaccine preventable diseases.
“Last year, 1024 cases were confirmed positive, hence the catch up campaign. The Measles Rubella vaccine will be administered to children aged nine months to those below 15 years,” Health and Child Care Minister, Dr David Parirenyatwa said.
Development partners that include the World Health Organisation (WHO), UNICEF, Maternal and Child Health Integrated Programme (MCHIP) and the Lions Club offered financial and technical support.
Most of the children who are going to be vaccinated are school going children.
Since the measles outbreak which occurred in the country between 2009 and 2010, more than 10 000 cases and more than 500 deaths have been recorded.
Measles Rubella causes fatal abnormalities called Congenital Rubella Syndrome in early pregnancy.
The Vitamin A supplementation will be administered to children aged between 6 months to 59 months during the same period.
The campaign will be held at all health care facilities, all primary and secondary schools, outreach points, and other centres agreed upon by communities.
The Zimbabwean government, with assistance from Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation, an organisation which supports the acquisition of vaccines by low-income countries, has already introduced three new vaccines namely the Pneumococcal, Rotavirus and Human Papilloma vaccines and the Measles Rubella vaccine will also be added onto the existing national immunisation schedule. – ZBC