RUNDU – The Kavango East region is observing the African Vaccination Week in an effort to address the importance of immunisation in saving lives and encouraging families to vaccinate their children against deadly diseases.
The vaccination campaign is being executed along with the registration of birth to children under the age of five.
Authorities are also using the platform to register eligible children for government social grants, especially orphans and children with disabilities.
“We have seen low coverage in vaccinations to children in our region; we are giving children vaccines – and through a request, UNICEF gave us funds to conduct a vaccination campaign,” said Peter Haita, a senior health official spearheading the vaccination week.
“And one of the main reasons we conducting this campaign is that since the dawn of Covid-19, we have not been conducting awareness on other vaccinations, apart from Covid-19, as most of the resources were channelled to that, including transport. Thus, we could not go out for vaccinations and our outreach coverage was affected, especially in remote areas and far from health facilities – and now, this is the time to do so.”
The campaign is targeting mostly children in remote areas.
“We have also seen children under the age of five in the rural areas who also don’t have birth certificates, and that is why we included the home affairs directorate. We also want children qualifying for social grants registered – and that is why we involved the ministry of gender,” Haita noted.
Prior to the African Vaccination Week, outreach teams visited various districts to conduct social mobilisation activities, where they sensitised communities on the importance of vaccination.
The African Vaccination Week campaign aims to draw attention to the need to attain universal immunisation coverage in the African regions by closing the immunisation gap.