Government Encourages Immunisation

Medical/Health Care

Government has resolved to ensure that its citizens do not die of diseases that can be prevented by vaccinations.

Ministry of Health public health specialist, Dr Christina La Grenade said this at the commemoration of the African Vaccination Week in Otse recently.

Dr La Grenade said government had introduced various vaccinations for children to avoid death among babies as well as raise awareness on avoiding deaths which can be prevented through vaccinations.

“Vaccination has helped us to get rid of diseases such as polio. in Botswana” Dr La Grenade said. Nonetheless, she noted that everyone had a role to play in fighting vaccine-preventable diseases such as polio, whooping cough, measles, tetanus, diphtheria and hepatitis.

She noted that the African Vaccination Week started in 2006, adding that by that time statistics showed that out of every 1 000 births in the country, 76 babies died. However after interventions, she added, the figure was reduced to 28 deaths in very 1 000 births in 2012.

“It is a big improvement, but it is not good enough,” said Dr La Grenade, who added that more awareness was needed on vaccination preventable diseases. For her part, Otse’s Rankoromane School coordinator, Ms Julia Baker said Botswana had made saving the lives of mothers and babies a priority.

However, she regretted that some of the community members were not vaccinating their children even though government provided free vaccinations to all infants and children.

Ms Baker said despite cultural dissimilarities, there was need to find ways of confronting such people to raise awareness. Further, she noted that there was need for extensive research on how to deal with cultural dissimilarities and what could be learned from their practices.

South East District Health Management Team official, Ms Ellen Rannoba said African Vaccination Week was normally intended for hard to reach places.

She noted that Otse was enlisted under places which were hard to reach owing to the number of people defaulting vaccinations.

Thus, she encouraged residents to ensure that their children were vaccinated as well as spread the message on the importance of vaccination.

Nonetheless, Ms Rannoba said the country had saved many children from the possibility of contracting killer diseases and added that some of the diseases no longer existed.

The African Vaccination Week commemoration was held under the theme Vaccination – a Gift for Life.’

Source : BOPA

Source : Botswana Daily News