Vaccinate your children

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

As South Africa celebrates the 8th African Vaccination Week, Health Minister Dr Aaron Motsoaledi has urged all parents and caregivers to take children to their nearest clinic for vaccinations.

African Vaccination Week is an annual event celebrated during the last week of April to strengthen immunisation programmes in the African Region by increasing awareness of the importance of every persons need and right to be protected from vaccine-preventable diseases, particularly every child and woman.

This year’s African Vaccination Week is celebrated under the slogan “Vaccinated communities, Healthy communities”, which is supported by the theme “Vaccines work, Do your part!”

The theme highlights the collective action needed to ensure that every person is protected from vaccine-preventable diseases.

It urges greater action on immunization across the African Region, with a particular focus on spotlighting the role that everyone can play in this effort, from donors to individuals.

This year’s African Vaccination Week celebrations will happen in close connection with the ongoing implementation of the roadmap of the 10 commitment of the Ministers of Health contained the Addis Ababa declaration, and also with the World Immunization Week’s theme of “Protected Together: #VaccinesWork”.

Minister Motsoaledi urged parents and caregivers to take children to the nearest clinics for free vaccination to immunize children against vaccine-preventable diseases, such as measles and polio.

"It is our collective responsibility as parents, caregivers and communities to work side-by-side with the health system to ensure that our children are up-to-date with immunization to protect them from infectious childhood diseases because one unvaccinated child can pose a huge risk to children they stay or play with.

“That is why I urge everyone to ensure that their children receive these free services at their nearest clinic because vaccination does not only protect the individual but curbs the spread of diseases within the community," Minister Motsoaledi said.

Immunisation is one of the greatest and most effective medical interventions in human history, and has saved millions of lives, especially amongst children below the age of five years against serious childhood diseases that are preventable by using vaccines routinely.

Since the introduction of these vaccines, rates of diseases such as polio, measles, hepatitis B, rubella, diphtheria, pertussis (whooping cough), and meningitis caused by haemophilus influenza type B (Hib) continue to decline.

All vaccines used in the Expanded Programme on Immunisation in South Africa (EPISA), are manufactured according to strict standards to ensure efficacy, quality and safety before registration and approval for use.

In addition, these vaccines meet World Health Organization standards of quality, safety and efficacy. – SAnews.gov.za

Most Read

SA News on Facebook