By Lovemore Khomo
In order to ensure that children are protected from Typhoid, Ministry of Health said it will roll out first ever national wide Typhoid vaccination campaign during second week of May, 2023 from 15th to 21st May.
Speaking during journalists orientation meeting in Salima, Deputy Director for Preventive Health Services responsible for Health Education Mabvuto Thomas said the first ever Typhoid vaccine has come following serious threat it poses to lives of children in Malawi.
Typhoid is an acute generalized infection caused by a highly virulent and invasive enteric bacterium. Data indicates that in Malawi, Typhoid is a big health problem and it is rarely diagnosed because of its complexity.
According to Ministry of Health, in 2017 Malawi registered 32,747 typhoid cases and 435 deaths. Children were the most affected with 61% of all the cases and 65% of deaths were in children younger than 15 years.
Mabvuto Thomas explained that the vaccine will be given to children aged between 9 months old to 15 years and they target to reach 9 million children.
He said, “For Typhoid we are giving out vaccine as a supplement for other interventions including WASH, which is regarded as Environmental Sanitation and Hygiene issue.”
After the campaign, he said Typhoid vaccine will be included into routine vaccination program to 9 months old children.
Other vaccines to roll out during the the campaign are Measles Rubella, Polio and vitamin A supplement to children that are aged zero to 14 years.
Meanwhile, Essau Mkisi Senior Programs Officer for PATH which is a partner on rolling out TCV/MR campaign explained that the exercise shall involve setting up Static Clinics that shall help to facilitate seamless continuum of vaccine to achieve the objective of reaching all, deliver quality vaccines and reduce distance and time for mothers and guardians.
The PATH Senior Programs Officer also pointed out that Temporary sites like schools and emergency places have also been designed to help bring vaccines directly to communities that may otherwise face barriers in seeking and accessing it.
“Depending on the team judgement, house to house will have to be deployed to reach unreached populations based on advice from the local volunteers.” Added Mkisi.
World Health Organisation (WHO) sets aside immunization week for each year, in order to carry out vaccinations for preventable diseases. This year’s theme ‘The Big Catch Up’ which means reaching children who were missed for routine vaccination as well as other interventions within during Covid 19 period.
The TCV/MR campaign launch will take place in Balaka on 12th May, 2023
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