Health Ministry targets remaining 16pc of children for MenC jab

Adrian Tawake, 11, of Veiuto Primary School was part of the nationwide meningococcal vaccination campaign that began in May in the central division. Picture: SUPPLIED/FILE

A TOTAL of 274,612 children aged between 1 to 19 years have been immunised the various divisions around the country under the National Meningococcal (Men C) Immunisation Program.

Fiji’s Minister for Health and Medical Services Rosy Akbar, in a Government media statement, said while the ministry had achieved 84 per cent of the target coverage, efforts were made to reach out to the other 16 per cent of the targeted age groups.

The program, coordinated by the Ministry of Health and Medical Services, has seen the health outreach team with the assistance of the community health workers house to house in the divisions.

“There is a wide spread network of Community Health Workers who will be assisting our outreach teams so we are able to target every individual within the 1 to 19 year age group to get MenC immunisation,” Ms Akbar said.

“Teams will also visit schools to reach out to those students who may have missed out on the immunisation.”

Ms Akbar has also reminded parents that MenC vaccinations were still available at health facilities, in case their children may have missed out.

“They can visit their nearest health centre or nursing station to receive the MenC immunisation. Once we try to finish the mop up phase by October end, we will see if there is a need to extend the program accordingly to ensure that everyone within the targeted age group has been immunised,” Ms Akbar said.

The National MenC Immunisation has been rolled out nationally through a funding of $11million of which $9m has been provided by the Fijian Government and $2 million through donor funding.

Ms Akbar has also acknowledged all the donor agencies, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) New Zealand, World Health Organisation, UNICEF and the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) for their support in the National MenC Immunisation Program.

The Health Minister has also commended all the nurses, community health workers, health staff, village leaders, parents, teachers and communities who have supported the National MenC Immunisation Program.

Meanwhile, as the Health Ministry continues with its outreach awareness programs on prevention of meningococcal, families are advised to familiarise themselves with the symptoms of the disease and practice proper hygiene to prevent it from spreading. Men-C is treatable when caught in its early stages, but early detection is key to survival. If there is any sign suspect meningococcal disease, immediately go to a health facility to be assessed.

For further information about the meningococcal disease, signs and symptoms and prevention measures people are advised to visit the Ministry’s website: http://www.health.gov.fj/?page_id=6575 for information on Immunisation roll out program visit http://www.health.gov.fj/?page_id=6884

More Stories