Vaccination prevents dealth, disability

This year’s Child Health Week will be observed from May 6 to 11 on the theme: “Healthy children, great future.”

The focus of this year’s celebration is to remind parents that apart from preventing death, vaccinations also prevent disability.

The National Child Health Co-ordinator, Dr Isabella Sagoe Moses, who disclosed this to the Daily Graphic, said the African Vaccination Week would also be marked alongside on the theme: “Vaccinate, prevent disability, save life.” 

Dr Sagoe Moses mentioned some disabilities as blindness and deafness, which are associated with measles and other vaccine-preventable infections such as meningitis and paralysis of the lower limb.

She said, “there are fewer cases of these disabilities involving children in the country because of the vaccinations they have been given.”

She, however, noted that some children were still at risk because they had not been taken through the routine vaccination. “That is why there is the need to create awareness of the importance of immunisation in preventing disabilities,” she explained.

The co-ordinator stated that parents and guardians should note that healthy children would grow up to become healthy adults who would take up national responsibilities.

She said a nation’s future development depended on the survival of its children, therefore, “child survival is a measure of how well our nation is developing.”

Activities earmarked for this year’s Child Health Week celebration include immunisation, giving of Vitamin ‘A’ supplements, growth promotion (weighing), free birth registration for children less than 12 months and the promotion of the use of the new Child Health Record Book (weighing card).

In a related development, the Ghana Health Service (GHS) has advised mothers to immunise their children under five to prevent child mortality.

According to a Ghana News Agency (GNA) report, Dr Isabella Sagoe-Moses, National Coordinator of GHS Child Health Programme, made the call at this year’s joint launch of African Vaccination Week and Child Health Promotion Week celebration in Accra.

The theme for the celebration is: “Healthy Children, Great Future,” with a call on stakeholders to protect the country’s future children by acting now.

Dr Sagoe-Moses said this year’s African Vaccination and Child Health Promotion Week sought to raise awareness of how to reduce child mortality rate.

She outlined major causes of death in children, which include asphyxia, infections, prematurity, malaria, diarrhoea, and acute respiratory illnesses.

She, therefore, advised mothers and family members to immunise their children against such diseases and disabilities.

Dr Sagoe-Moses urged mothers to take their children under-five to the hospital for immunisation frequently, monitor their growth rate and ensure that their food had the necessary nutrients to enhance growth.

The Minister of Health, Ms Sherry Ayittey, encouraged mothers to immunie their children since it was the best way to protect children from life-threatening diseases.

Ms Ayittey pledged the government’s continuous support to the immunisation programme and all child health related programmes.

She urged all to partake in the exercise since it is a shared responsibility for the growth of the country.

Story: Augustina Tawiah

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