Oral Cholera Vaccine Launched
The Government yesterday launched the first ever oral cholera vaccine so as to cut the cholera transmission cycle in Budiriro One.
This has come due to the alarming increase of cases within Harare and beyond.
Minister of Health and Child Care Dr Obadiah Moyo during the launch said the cholera vaccine is an effective and safe vaccine hence yesterday he was also vaccinated giving confidence to the communities to get vaccinated.
“The vaccination program has commenced today. The first round of the vaccination campaign is targeting the four suburbs Budiriro, Glen View, Mbare, and Glen Norah because they have been the epicenters of the disease.” He said.
“The vaccine has been administered in other countries that experienced similar outbreaks and good results were recorded. The vaccine is important in reducing the burden of cholera as it cuts the transmission cycle” said Dr Moyo.
He said WHO recommends that vaccination against cholera be considered in emergencies and other high-risk scenarios where there are increased threats of outbreaks, when combined with standard prevention and control measures for the disease.
“It is important to note that the vaccine does not offer life time immunity therefore the answer to total eradication of cholera lies with improving water and sanitation infrastructure.” He said.
Dr Moyo said more emphasis is needed on prevention of cholera through use of safe treated or boiled water, proper hand washing with soap before handling food and after using the toilet and eating food whilst it is still hot.
“I am glad to mention that we have technical support teams for enhancing local capacity in surveillance, case management, reporting, epidemiology and data analysis, and vaccination that have been seconded to us from the global and regional offices of the World Health Organization (WHO), UNICEF, Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC) and Medicines San Frontiers (MSF).
They are assisting the MOHCC team with further characterization of the outbreak, the vaccination campaigns and monitoring and evaluation of both the outbreak response and vaccination activities.” He said
Mr J. W. Pfunye on behalf of Minister of Finance and Economic Development Prof. Mtuli Ncube said to date funds that have come through the crowd fund for cholera has amounted to $770 925.80.
Dr Julius Wekesa from WHO representing UN Family said they were happy to be part of the intervention team to eradicate cholera outbreak.
“We greatly appreciate the Government for the timely announcement of the outbreak, this is crucial in terms of emergencies like these. Some Governments delay to announce and it usually worsens the situation since the disease will be continuously spreading,”
During the same event Bain Cares donated 2 skipper bins and 5 000 Litre bowser, WHO; commodities worth US$300 000 and Bakers Inn is providing 1million litres of water per month in the affected areas and this shall continue until the problem is over.
A total of 500 000 people are being targeted starting from 1 year and above. In the morning today, about185 people have been vaccinated.
Vaccination will be going on during weekends so as to accommodate those who will be at work during week days.
The campaign has began yesterday and will end on the 8th of October.