KIGALI - The Ministry of Health (MOH) is set to launch a three-day immunisation campaign against polio and measles in a bid to curb infant mortality rates – the Minister, Dr. Richard Sezibera revealed yesterday.
In a televised forum, Sezibera singled out measles as one of the deadly killer diseases of infants, adding that efforts to combat it have recently been successful however; the disease has become a threat in neighbouring countries.
“Most Rwandans living at the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) border and areas of Rusizi normally do not take their children for immunisation and Polio has become a threat in neighbouring Uganda, Burundi and other countries. This is their chance to be immunised.”
“Our national immunisation strategy reaches 95 percent of the population but this initiative intends to follow up on the five percent or 20,000 children,” Sezibera explained.
According to officials, the campaign to be launched by the First Lady, Mrs Jeannette Kagame will be held from the 6th to the 9th of October in Gashora, Bugesera district.
During the campaign, about 1.5 million children below the age of five years will be immunised against polio and measles, close to 3 million school children will be de-wormed with either Albendezole or Mabendezole.
MOH’s official Dr. Fidele Ngabo also noted that about 300,000 pregnant women will receive iron and folic acid supplements in a bid to prevent anemia.
“Over 50,000 breastfeeding mothers will also receive water treatment solutions known as Sur Eau to guarantee safe water usage for them and their families,” he said.
Sezibera explained that this initiative alone will cost close to Rwf400 million which is drawn from the government revenue pool.
Officials emphasized that parents should endeavor to bring all the infants for immunisation adding that it is a strong step towards eliminating major killer diseases among children hence achieving national health goals.