Child and adolescent Health Week to focus on vaccination

The Child and Adolescent Health Week, which is set to begin today, will this time round focus on disease prevention through vaccination against measles, rubella, cervical cancer and Vitamin A provision.
A medical practioner takes part  in a vaccination drive last year. Rwanda will be the first African country to roll out the measles and rubella vaccine countrywide, starting today.   T....
A medical practioner takes part in a vaccination drive last year. Rwanda will be the first African country to roll out the measles and rubella vaccine countrywide, starting today. T....

The Child and Adolescent Health Week, which is set to begin today, will this time round focus on disease prevention through vaccination against measles, rubella, cervical cancer and Vitamin A provision.

Rwanda will be the first African country to roll out the measles and rubella vaccine countrywide to an estimated five million children between the ages of nine months and 14 months while cervical cancer vaccination has been ongoing.

Maurice Gatera, the Head of Vaccine Preventable Diseases in the Ministry of Health, told The New Times, yesterday, that this time their focus is mass vaccination against those diseases that are a threat to children and adolescents.

He said that the vaccination exercise will begin from Kibeho Health Centre, Nyaruguru district, where it will be launched before rolling out countrywide in the course of the week.

“We are also targeting 200,000 children and adolescents for cervical cancer vaccination this week and vitamin A for children under five   years of age. We want to focus more on preventing these diseases which is why this is going to be our centre of attention  across the whole country,” Gatera said.

He called upon the public to make use of this week to prevent these diseases by bringing their children for vaccination.

Cervical cancer accounts for 27 per cent of all the women cancers, according to research conducted by the two university hospitals in Rwanda. The World Health Organisation also reported that the incidence of cervical cancer in Rwanda is 49 per 100,000 in the population.

Cervical cancer ranks as the most prevalent cancer among women between 15 and 44 years of age. According to medics, cervical cancer is not a genetic disease but sexually active women are at risk of contracting this type of cancer.

Most girls usually get infected with HPV around the time they first have sexual intercourse.

Meanwhile, experts have estimated that deaths due to measles in Rwanda are estimated to have declined from 670 in 2000 to three in 2010.

Rubella, also commonly known as German measles, causes a rash that is very similar to the measles rash, making it hard for health workers to tell the difference.

Rubella can kill the fetus or cause severe birth defects, including deafness, blindness, mental retardation and chronic heart damage.

Vitamin A is key for good vision, a healthy immune system, and cell growth. Vitamin A also effectively maintains healthy bones and teeth.

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