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Vaccinate kids against measles-rubella

LINDA NYONDO, Lusaka
GOVERNMENT has urged parents and guardians to ensure that their children are vaccinated against measles-rubella.The vaccination exercise is expected to commence next month.
Ministry of Health permanent secretary Peter Mwaba said the health of both children and their mothers was critical to any nation, including Zambia.
He said the symptoms of measles and rubella are similar, which is why it is imperative to have children vaccinated. The vaccine is called measles-rubella.
“The vaccine is effective for measles-rubella. We hope mothers will take their children for vaccination in September,’’ he said.
Dr Mwaba said the vaccination exercise is the beginning of elimination of measles and rubella in Zambia.
“When a child or mother dies, there is a lot of hopelessness in a family,’’ Dr Mwaba said.
He also urged the media to sensitise the public on the importance of the exercise.
Meanwhile, Ministry of Health deputy director, child health and nutrition, Angel Mwiche said the number of people suffering from rubella is higher than those suffering from measles.
Dr Mwiche said the complication of rubella is that an infected mother can give birth to a child with abnormalities.
“Rubella is a virus like measles, the manifestation of the rubella virus is similar to that of measles,’’ he said.
Dr Mwiche said a survey conducted revealed that three in every 10 persons tested for measles or rubella had the rubella virus.
He said there is need to start taking steps in eradicating measles and rubella in Zambia.
Dr Mwiche said the Ministry of Health is working towards having a stronger surveillance system to ensure that the whole country is covered in the immunisation programme.



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