Measles Vaccination Campaign in Province Effective and Efficient
Western Cape Minister of Health, Theuns Botha, today reinforced the message that in the Western Cape there are 35 000 measles vaccinations available, and that in hot spot areas in the Cape children are vaccinated as they are presented at their local clinics.
Newspaper reports today incorrectly stated that 7 babies died in the Province within one month. The correct fact is that 7 measles-related deaths occurred since last year, November 2009.
In this province we made sure that the vaccination campaign could be brought forward and implemented in the hotspot areas well in advance of the mass immunisation campaign that will only be implemented in the rest of the country from the beginning of next month, said Botha.
I am satisfied that our action plan against the measles outbreak is efficient. We have a Joint Operations Committee monitoring the situation, and our isolation wards at Tygerberg and New Somerset Hospital are treating patients well. The deaths that have occurred have been in very young babies with underlying complications.
Botha stressed that it is important that parents take responsibility for their children and take them to their nearest clinic for a measles vaccination and immunity booster.
The Provinces measles outbreak response is a normal routine response, that would kick in at the outbreak of any contagious disease of this nature. It should not be confused with the mass immunisation campaign that will kick in beginning April 2010 which will see all children up to 15 years of age immunised.