Zambia seeks to attain 68% immunisation coverage

ZAMBIA is aiming at attaining more than 68 percent high immunisation coverage countrywide, Ministry of Community Development, Mother and Child Health acting permanent secretary Sydney Chapula has said.
Mr Chapula said Government will address the low immunisation stagnancy in the country by ensuring that more children are immunised this year.
He was speaking during a handover of Immunisation Elma cold chain equipment trucks for vaccine distribution project in Lusaka yesterday.
“Immunisation programmes in Zambia can only be effective with the availability of cold chain equipment distributed in all district health centres,” Mr Chapula said.
He said 300 district and health centre level refrigerators would soon be distributed to relevant locations.
Mr Chapula said 181 solar vaccine refrigerators and 91 electrical refrigerators are for health centres while 77 electrical refrigerators, 50 cold boxes and 50 vaccine carriers are for the districts.
Mr Chapula said Government has already trained provincial and district cold chain technicians in the installation and maintenance of the equipment.
Centre for Infectious Disease Research in Zambia (CIDRZ) director Charles Holmes said his organisation has handed over equipment valued over K14million to support the immunisation programme in Zambia.
Dr Holmes said the national vaccine cold storage facility capacity has been expanded from 144 to 212 litres to ensure more room for storage of drugs.
“The cold chain system is important seeing that it is temperature-controlled and as such, medicine will not be damaged unnecessarily,” he said.
Dr Holmes said it is pleasing that Zambia is slowly scaling up under –five mortality reduction programmes to meet the targets for the millennium development goals.

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