THE Kilimanjaro Regional Commissioner (RC), Ms Anna Mghwira over the weekend called upon members of the public to make sure that their children get measles, rubella and polio vaccines for their own health benefits.
She said that past immunisation exercises for the three ailments have shown big results, hence no cause of alarm.
Ms Mghwira made the remarks at Pasua Health Centre, Moshi Municipality in Kilimanjaro Region, while presiding over its launch in the area with further appeal that: “The Measles and Rubella immunisation campaigns have borne fruits in the past, which includes the reduction of infant mortality rates especially among children aged five years and below in the region.
“For more than five years we have not heard of any measles’ outbreak, and for over 25 years we have not heard of any child being paralysed as a result of polio virus… all these achievements are attributed to the past immunisation campaigns which have been successful.”
She mentioned another achievement as the permanent removal of special Wards for measles’ patients during the 1980s in the area, adding that it is a good sign that the disease has been eradicated in Kilimanjaro Region as a result of the annual vaccination exercise being conducted countrywide.
“Other achievements are diseases which are chronic like cough (kifaduro), sore throat and tetanus among infants have disappeared in Kilimanjaro Region’s disease reports,” further said the RC, adding that cases of pneumonia and infant diarrhoea within the region have also been dropping.
However, Ms Mghwira urged parents and guardians to avoid baseless and unconfirmed perceptions that measles and rubella vaccinations are not safe for children.
She said that scientifically the vaccines are for the benefit of the children and their parents with the government also partnering with reputable organisations to make sure that they are safe.
“The government would like to assure you that it is safe and has been certified by the United Nations’ World Health Organisation (WHO),” she pointed out.
On his part, the Acting Kilimanjaro Regional Medical Officer (RMO), Dr Jonas Mcharo, said a total of 223,772 children were expected to be vaccinated in the area at 312 Centres, including set up Mobile Clinics.
Commenting, the Kilimanjaro region’s Measles and Rubella Vaccination Campaign 2019 Coordinator, Dr Peter Kihamia, urged parents and the general public to act responsibly to ensure that all children aged nine months to five years get the jabs.
However, he warned that chances which include death await children, who would not get the vaccination, saying: “Children who won’t be subjected to vaccination risk getting different types of illness, which include heart problems, permanent paralysis, pneumonia, malnutrition and cerebral haemorrhage, to name but a few.”