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GHS launches vaccination campaign against measles and rubella

The Ghana Health Service has launched a vaccination campaign against Measles and Rubella diseases. Measles is a dangerous disease which either debilitates or kills children. It is caused by a small germ, called the measles virus. It is transmitted or passed from person to person when the virus is discharged from a patient’s mouth or nose through coughing or sneezing and is inhaled by another person.

Until the recent past, measles was a major killer of children in Ghana and rubella is essentially a benign viral infectious disease that can have serious consequences when infection occurs during pregnancy. To reduce the incidence of measles and rubella in the country, a nation-wide vaccination campaign has been launched against the diseases targeting all children from 9 months to 5 years of age.

The campaign will take place from 17th to 22nd October, 2018 throughout the country. Immunization posts will be set up in all clinics, hospitals and communities to immunize all eligible children free of charge. Parents and caregivers are to take all children who are 9 months to 5 years old to the nearest immunization post for vaccination even if they received previous measles- rubella injection.

In addition to the measles vaccination, children from 9 months to five years will receive Vitamin A capsules, Vitamin A protects children and make them strong and healthy.

Speaking at a regional press briefing organized in Tamale on the theme: “Measles and Rubella kill, vaccinate your child now for good life,” the acting northern regional director of health services Dr John Abenyeri said, Ghana is working towards interrupting measles and rubella transmission leading to the elimination of measles and contribute to global congenital rubella syndrome elimination.

The campaign therefore provides a second opportunity for children to receive an extra dose of the vaccine in order to reduce the number of susceptibles leading to reduced incidence of measles and rubella in the country. He urged all parents and guardians to take advantage of the exercise to protect all children within the age brackets and aid in the elimination of these diseases in the northern region.

He further assured the general public that the vaccine is safe and protects against measles and rubella. However, any adverse reactions that may occur following the vaccination should be reported to the nearest health facility for treatment and proper investigation.

By: Lilian D. Walter

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