Children immunised

Students of Ratu Sukuna Memorial School ready for the Meningococcal Vaccination nationwide immunization campaign at the school in Nabua. Picture: JONA KONATACI

A total of 23,489 children aged 1 to 19 years have been immunised by the National Meningococcal (Men C) Program in Fiji.
According to the Department of Information the children that were immunised were from across the Central Division and Ra Subdivision.
The campaign was led by the Ministry of Health and Medical Services was supported by the United National Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the World Health Organization.
According to the statement the campaign aims to vaccinate up to 325,000 children and adolescents against meningococcal C disease.
“The immunisation program began in the Central Division and Ra subdivision on May 2018 14 and will continue until June 29, this year,” the statement highlighted.
“It targets all children and teenagers aged 1 to 19 years and are currently being delivered at all schools, health centres and nursing stations within the Central Division and Ra Subdivision.
“The Health Ministry advises that Men C immunisation is safe and effective and is used in many immunisation programs around the world.
“Whilst the rollout is carried out in the Central Division and Ra Subdivision, the Family Health team is also conducting trainings for the nurses in the Northern Division. Similar trainings are also being organised for the nurses in the Western and Eastern divisions.”
The statement highlighted that the health workers would work to immunise the children and adolescents across Fiji, with the campaign initially focused on the most at risk groups.
“Meningococcal disease is a life-threatening disease, which usually causes meningitis (inflammation of the lining of the brain and spinal cord) and/or septicaemia (blood poisoning). For older children and adults common symptoms include sudden fever, vomiting, headache, and stiff neck/backache. For babies, symptoms generally include fever, neck stiffness, irritability, drowsiness, vomiting, not feeding properly, or having a lack of muscle tone/floppy baby.
“If detected early, most cases of meningococcal disease can be treated. This is why it is important that everyone knows the signs and symptoms of meningococcal disease and seek urgent medical advice at their nearest health facility if they suspect the disease.”