Rwanda Biomedical Centre (RBC) has urged parents, especially new mothers to adhere to vaccination schedules and practice good hygiene to protect their children from epidemic outbreaks.
The call was made during the African Vaccination Week (AVW) that is marked annually from 23 to 29 April under the theme: “Vaccines work, Do your part!” The theme highlights the collective action needed to ensure that every person is protected from vaccine-preventable diseases.
It urges greater action on immunization across the African Region, with a particular focus on spotlighting the role that everyone can play in this effort, from donors to individuals according to the World Health Organization (WHO)
Hassan Sibomana, the acting Director of Vaccination Program at RBC said 95% of children in the country under five are vaccinated.
“For Rwanda the African vaccination week provides an opportunity to intensify awareness about the role of vaccination through radio ads reminding people the role of vaccination and also meeting vaccination routine until their children have received the full package,” he said.
Sibomana added that the success in vaccination has contributed a lot in the reduction of infant mortality rate.
The fact that they were not able to reach 100 per cent has nothing to do with religious or other ideological resistance but rather linked to some children who may have died during birth or from other circumstances after birth.
The 2014-15 Demographic Health Survey figures indicate that infant mortality declined from 86 deaths per 1,000 births in 2005 to 32 in 2014/15.
During the same period, under 5 mortalities sharply declined from 152 to 50 deaths per 1,000 live births.
“The country’s political will, the role of the community health workers and integration of technology in the health sector are the main factors that have contributed to the success of immunization campaigns,” he pointed out.
According to WHO, celebrations of this year’s African Vaccination Week will be in line with the ongoing implementation of the roadmap of the 10 commitments of the ministers of health contained in the Addis Ababa declaration.
Since its institutionalization in April 2011, countries have conducted large scale vaccination campaigns, small scale vaccination activities or information outreach and health promotion through immunization and other child survival interventions.
Last year, nearly 14 million doses of vaccines were administered in 19 countries, About 10 million deworming tablets were distributed in Angola, CAR, Comoros, Madagascar, and Rwanda.
6.3 million Vitamin A tablets were distributed in Angola, CAR, Comoros, Madagascar, Rwanda, Sao Tomé, Zimbabwe.
7.7 million children were screened for malnutrition in Angola, Madagascar and Rwanda among many achievements.