PRETORIA– As South Africa celebrates African Vaccination Week, Health Minister Dr Aaron Motsoaledi has urged all parents and caregivers to take their children to their nearest clinic for vaccinations.
African Vaccination Week is an annual event celebrated during the final week of April to strengthen immunization programmes in Africa by raising awareness of the importance of every person’s need and right to be protected from vaccine-preventable diseases, particularly every child and woman.
This year’s African Vaccination Week is being celebrated under the slogan, Vaccinated communities, Healthy communities, which is supported by the theme, Vaccines work, Do your part! The theme highlights the collective action needed to ensure that every person is protected from vaccine-preventable diseases.
It urges greater action on immunization across Africa, with a particular focus on highlighting the role which everyone can play in this effort, from donors to individuals.
Motsoaledi urged parents and caregivers to take children to the nearest clinics for free vaccination to immunize children against vaccine-preventable diseases, such as measles and polio.
“It is our collective responsibility as parents, caregivers and communities to work side-by-side with the health system to ensure that our children are up-to-date with immunization to protect them from infectious childhood diseases because one unvaccinated child can pose a huge risk to children they stay or play with,” he said.
That is why I urge everyone to ensure that their children receive these free services at their nearest clinic because vaccination does not only protect the individual but curbs the spread of diseases within the community.”
Immunisation is one of the greatest and most effective medical interventions in human history, and has saved millions of lives, especially amongst children below the age of five years against serious childhood diseases that are preventable by using vaccines routinely.
Since the introduction of these vaccines, rates of diseases such as polio, measles, hepatitis B, rubella, diphtheria, pertussis (whooping cough), and meningitis caused by haemophilus influenza type B (Hib) continue to decline.
Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK