Mass Typhoid Vaccination Drive Set for The North

Fiji’s Ministry of Health and Medical Services in collaboration with the Ty-FIVE consortium has announced a mass typhoid vaccination drive in the country’s second-largest island, Vanua Levu, from July to August.

The campaign, spanning eight weeks and starting on July 4, will be implemented across all four subdivisions in the North and their respective medical areas.

The decision to launch this vaccination campaign was prompted by the findings of a study highlighting the prevalence of typhoid in the division. The study revealed 78 reported cases of typhoid last year, including one fatality and four severe cases. Typhoid, a potentially life-threatening bacterial infection, is impacting individuals across all age groups, from young children to grandparents.

According to a joint statement issued by the ministry and the consortium, the vaccination campaign will utilise both mobile and fixed teams. Mobile teams will visit schools, workplaces, and communities, while fixed teams will be stationed at nearby health facilities.

What is Typhoid? What are the Symptoms of Typhoid?

Typhoid fever is a febrile illness caused by Salmonella Typhi through contaminated food and water. Symptoms of Typhoid usually begin 6 to 30 days after exposure, which are high fever, and any of the following: chills, loss of appetite, stomach ache, diarrhoea or constipation, cough, headache and rose spots. Typhoid is a life-threatening infection if left untreated or inadequately treated, possibly leading to internal bleeding or perforation in the digestive system.

Preventative Measures

Although Typhoid is treatable with antibiotics which are available in our health facilities, it is best if we prevent the disease in the first place. Prevention against Typhoid includes washing our hands frequently, drinking boiled water, washing raw vegetables and fruits thoroughly, and covering food from flies. However, the most effective way to prevent it is through vaccination as your body will develop antibodies. These antibodies can act like “trained soldiers” who will remember how to protect your body if a real typhoid infection occurs.

Who is eligible for vaccination?

Vaccination using a single dose of the Typhoid Conjugate Vaccine – commonly known as the “TCV” – will be available for all individuals, Fijians, and non-Fijians, from 9 months to 65 years of age.

How does one register for vaccination?

Adults are encouraged to bring their valid photo ID and their Covid vaccination card. For children their birth certificates must be provided should the parents/guardians wish for them to get their vaccination outside school. For babies above nine months of age, their parents are to bring the Maternal Child Health (“MCH”) card as well as their IDs to confirm the relationship. For non-Fijian citizens, passports and work permits are required

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Photo: Ty-Five

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