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Vaccination Week puts health in the hands of the people Print E-mail
15 March 2017

Community healthcare workers and promoters, ward-based Jozi Ihlomile outreach teams and fieldworkers in the City of Johannesburg will come out in full force during this year’s Global/African Vaccination Week to raise awareness of the significance of timeous vaccinations against preventable childhood diseases.

Vaccination Week will be held from 24 to 30 April 2017 under the theme: “Health Is in the Hands of the People”.

Throughout the seven-day period, the teams will embark on ward-based door-to-door campaigns to share information about vaccinations, trace unimmunised children and refer caregivers to the closest healthcare facility to ensure vaccination is administered according to the immunisation schedule.

“In the City of Johannesburg, vaccination against preventable childhood diseases is considered a priority programme and a most important public health intervention. The importance of vaccination should not be underestimated. As the City, we wish to increase the demand for and utilisation of immunisation services,” says Dr Mary Daka, the City’s Deputy Director of Public Health.

Dr Daka says the vaccination campaign forms part of a bouquet of free healthcare services offered by professional healthcare providers at the City’s 81 clinics and healthcare facilities. She says mothers and their young children requiring immunisation in line with prescribed immunisation schedules can visit these facilities during normal operating hours, five days a week.

The main message to be conveyed during Vaccination Week is that immunisation offers comprehensive protection against some of the most dangerous diseases known to human beings, including measles, tuberculosis, polio, diphtheria and tetanus.

“Every person – especially women and children – has the right to be protected from vaccine-preventable diseases. Many of the mentioned vaccine preventable diseases are either life-threatening or can have long-term health consequences.

“The good news is that global vaccination programmes have helped to increase resistance in the population and almost eradicated the presence of conditions such as polio in South Africa. The last reported case of polio in South Africa was in 1989 but the country and the City are not resting on their laurels or scaling down their immunisation efforts,” stresses Dr Daka.

Preventable childhood illnesses are easily spread through body fluids, interpersonal contact or contamination caused by poor hygiene, especially in cases where children share confined spaces that are poorly ventilated, such as classrooms.

Parents, caregivers and members of the community can assist in preventing the spread of preventable childhood illnesses by ensuring all children are immunised.

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Last Updated on 15 March 2017