Western Cape Government Health, together with the Rotary International organisation and other partners, hosted a community children’s party to launch the Polio and Measles Immunisation Campaign on Tuesday, 30 April 2013 in Worcester.
Western Cape Minister of Health Theuns Botha, Head of Department Professor Craig Househam and a number of Rotarians and guests led the launch with a friendly kick-off of balls, which were later donated to a local crèche.
During the event, which took place at Empilisweni Clinic in Zwelenthemba, Worcester, the Allied Health students of Stellenbosch University’s Rural Clinical School played educational games with the young kids and spoke to parents about the importance of good nutrition and how to incorporate more Vitamin A into the diet of young children.
Rotary International sponsored the fun kiddies' balls that each child received after immunisation. These, together with the jumping castle, made the discomfort worth it.
In his speech, Minister Botha stated, “Parents and guardians with children under the age of five years (59 months) should visit their local clinic for these vital top-up vaccinations. Alternatively, should their children attend a crèche, they should ensure that they have completed and returned the consent form to the crèche so that the campaign nurses can vaccinate their child at school. Immunisation is one of the ways in which we can maintain and improve the wellness of our children”.
The campaign commenced on 29 April 2013 and runs through to 17 May 2013. During this first phase, children 0 to 59 months will receive Polio Drops and Vitamin A, and children from nine to 59 months will also receive the measles vaccine.
The second phase of the campaign stretches from 17 to 28 June 2013, during which all those children who received the first round of polio drops will receive the required second round.
The Polio and Measles Immunisation Campaign is a world-wide initiative where all countries undertake to immunise children against these illnesses so that the illnesses are completely eradicated. Due to this systematic programme of vaccination, Polio has been eradicated in all but three countries in the world.
Head of Western Cape Government Health, Professor Craig Househam, stated that, “Immunisation remains the safest, most effective and cheapest method of protecting one’s child against debilitating childhood illness”.
All adults can help eradicate Polio and Measles by ensuring that all children under the age of five years receive this vital top-up immunisation.