Western Cape Implements De-Worming Campaign for Children
This week, with the continuation of the mass polio immunisation campaign at schools and crèches, the Western Cape is capitalising on the opportunity and added the administration of vitamin A drops and de-worming tablets to its health services regime.
Theuns Botha, Western Cape Minister of Health, today visited the National War Crèche, where seventy four (74) children - from babies to five (5) year old children - were immunised and supplemented. This week marks the second phase of the province's mass polio and measles immunisation campaign.
During the first phase more than one point two (1.2) million children in the age group five to fifteen (5 - 15) years received the measles vaccine, and almost five hundred thousand (500 000) children in the age group naught to five (0 - 5) years, received the polio vaccine.
During the second phase:
children naught to five (0 - 5) years old will receive a second dose of polio drops
Botha said "It is so important that parents and caregivers realize that polio is a serious illness which can lead to permanent paralysis and even death. While the polio virus lives, unimmunised children can contract the disease. Polio can be prevented, but cannot be cured. The vaccine is safe."
Vitamin A is essential for normal growth and development, and particularly assists with eyesight and as an immunity booster.
The Western Cape is the only province continuing with a de-worming campaign, as planned. There is a high incidence of worm infestation in young children, which can lead to health complications such as anemia.
The total cost of the vaccines, supplements and tablets to the provincial government amounts more than R4 million, with the breakdown as follows:
Total cost to Western Cape Department of Health: four million, two hundred and seventy-five thousand, seven hundred and twenty-five Rand (R4 275 725)
Total cost: eleven million, one hundred and fifty-three thousand Rand (R11, 153, 000)
The World Health Organisation requires countries to conduct periodic national immunisations campaigns as part of its global polio and measles eradication plan.
- children one to five (1 - 5) years old will receive Vitamin A drops, and
- children one to five (1 - 5) years will receive deworming tablets.
- Polio vaccines: three million, one hundred and thirty three thousand and nine hundred and twenty five Rand (R3,133,925)
- Measles vaccines: six million, five hunred and ninety-seven thousand and two hundred and seventy five Rand (R6, 597,275) (paid by the National Department of Health)
- Vitamin A: donated by UNICEF (approximately two hundred and eighty thousand Rand (R280 000) in value.
- Deworming tablets: one million, one hundred and forty-one thousand and eight hundred Rand (R1,141,800) million
Western Cape Minister of Health
Theuns Botha MPP