‘Despite COVID-19 pandemic, routine vaccination of children continues'

23May 2020
The Guardian
‘Despite COVID-19 pandemic, routine vaccination of children continues'

​​​​​​​CHILDREN under five years in outlying rural areas should continue receiving vaccination to ensure all of them are vaccinated in the prescribed time, despite the Covid-19 pandemic.

Another group that should continue receiving vaccination are girls of 14 years of age that who are supposed to get human papillomavirus vaccine (HPV) against cervix cancer,

The call was made by the project officer from the health ministry’s national immunisation plan Dr Furaha Kyesi when speaking to officials Mtego wa Simba Health Centre in Morogoro rural district during his inspection visit on vaccinations provided by health centres during the Covid-19 pandemic period.

A team monitoring vaccination in the ministry’s Immunization and Vaccines Development (IVD), vaccination officials from Morogoro region in collaboration with Engeder Health through Merck Sharp & Dohme B.V (MSD), are in the region to inspect the ongoing vaccination services in the Covid-19 pandemic period.

“We must ensure we cover this girls group because we had targeted to do so while they were at schools but since the schools are closed due to Covid-19 pandemic, we must reach them in their homes,” Dr Kyesi said.  

“Children under five years of age should also be reached because when we are fighting against Covid-19 we must also ensure we vaccinate them against other diseases such as measles, polio, diarrhea and others so that we do not get another epidemic eruption.”

Earlier, the health centre’s midwife nurse, Ipyana Mamwala said every month they receive seven children who are vaccinated against various diseases, and added that the centre is surrounded by four villages – Sangasanga, New Land, Mkono wa Mara, Mkambarani and Mtego wa Simba itself.

“Mothers still respond to the call of bringing their children for vaccination but we must also go out to reach those who do not come to the centre for vaccination.

The centre’s doctor in charge Luambano Ally said due to the Ministry’s caution they took steps to strengthen preventive measures against Covid-19 infections including hand washing facilities at the entrances of the health centre.

“We have also directed that whoever comes to the health centre must wear a mask, and villagers have been abiding by that directive, including washing their hands,” Ally said.