Parents/guardians urged to ensure kids’ receive scheduled vaccines

Two cases of measles reported in the Serua-Namosi Health subdivision, have prompted calls from the Ministry of Health to parents and guardians to review their children’s vaccination cards, in particular those below the age of five years to ensure their vaccination is up to date.

If a child has missed out on any scheduled vaccination, the ministry encourages parents to contact their nearest health facility.

In January, the ministry is looking to step up its national immunisation program for vaccine-preventable disease. There are plans to roll out early next month a national vaccination drive for children in the eligible age groups against diseases that are prevented with childhood immunisation.

Between birth and 12 months, a child is scheduled to receive 10 vaccines including for measles.

A survey that was carried out by the health ministry in 2013 found that about 5 per cent of more than 1000 children between the ages of 15 and 26 months were not fully immunised. Some of the reasons the survey outlined (Devi_et-al, 2014) for failure to fully immunise were categorised as obstacles to accessing services, lack of motivation to use services, and lack of information about services. The single most common reason for failure to fully immunise was ‘Lost card’, the survey found, adding that 11 per cent of the parents whose child were not fully immunised said that they did not know that their child needed to be immunised or were unaware that additional vaccine doses were needed.

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