AFRICA/CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC - Vaccination campaign: by 2106 a quarter of the children will be vaccinated against the killer diseases

Monday, 18 January 2016 healthcare  

Sokwanele - Zimbabwe

Bangui (Agenzia Fides) - Doctors Without Borders (MSF) launches vaccination campaign of unprecedented scale in the Central African Republic (CAR). The goal is to reach about 220,000 children, representing a quarter of all those present in the Country, by the end of 2016. Initiated last July in cooperation with the Ministry of Health in the north of the country, the campaign has now moved to sub-préfecture Berberati in southwest CAR and will gradually be extended to all 13 sub-prefectures where MSF runs medical programmes. In addition to this large-scale vaccination campaign, MSF is to enhance and scale-up vaccination services in the health facilities where it works. These two strategies will enable the organisation to provide under five-year olds not yet fully immunised with up to nine antigens. Furthermore, preventive measures such as distributions of Vitamin A, bed nets and anti-parasite treatment and malnutrition screening will be implemented according to each sub-prefecture’s specific needs. Official Ministry of Health figures show that the political and military crisis that began in 2013 is the cause of the collapse in immunisation coverage rates. Between 2012 and 2014, the number of Central African children vaccinated against measles fell from 64% to 25% and against acute respiratory infections from 52% to 20%. By the end of 2013, only 13% of one-year olds had been fully immunised. (AP) (Agenzia Fides 18/01/2016)