The Maternal and Child Health Team comprising of zone nurses and health staff are working promptly to coordinate the National Meningococcal (Men C) Immunisation Program for children aged 1 to 19 years. The team has been conducting the menc immunisation program through schools, health centres and in communities.
Speaking on behalf of the team at MCH Tavua Health Centre, Louise Kula Loosley said that they have received a positive response from the communities. Since the commencement of the program on July 11th, the team has been able to immunise well over 4493 children aged 1 to 19 years and their actual target is to immunise 7953 children in Tavua, Nadharivatu and Vatukoula.
“We have 21 primary schools to cover and 5 high schools have already been covered by the team. And here at the Tavua Health Centre we are able to immunise around 40 to 50 children per day. Most of parents and families that bring their children for immunisation have been aware of the program through radio, television and newspaper ads and apart from that our teams have also been conducting outreach awareness as well,” Kula said.
The Ba Health Centre staff have also been conducting menc immunisation and have received positive responses.
A resident of Yatiyaka community in Ba, Mrs Karuna Devi has thanked the Ministry of Health for facilitating the MenC immunisation program for the children. She was grateful for the assistance given by the Ba Health Centre staff in getting her 2 year old grandson immunised.
Mere Adi of Nabuna village in Tavua was also pleased with the assistance received at the MCH Clinic in Tavua to get her 2 year old niece receive menc vaccine. Many of the parents and guardians in western division have expressed their gratitude to the government for providing the free Men C vaccine.
Meanwhile, the Ministry has urged the parents to give consent for their children to be immunised and they are reminded that Meningococcal disease is a deadly disease and it’s in the best interest of the children that they should get immunised.
For children aged 1-5 years old, who do not attend school, parents and guardians can get them immunised by taking them to the nearest health centre or nursing station.
For children aged 5 -17 years old, and in school, immunisation teams are visiting schools and immunising children under parental consent. If any child misses out on their immunisation at school, parents are encouraged to take their child to the nearest health centre or nursing station.
For children aged 18-19 years old, undertaking tertiary level studies, stays home or is working, it is advised that you visit the nearest health centre or nursing station.
Consent forms are provided to children under the age of 18 years, and immunisation will only be given to those children with a signed parental consent form.
Families are advised to familiarise themselves with the symptoms of this deadly disease and practice proper hygiene to prevent it from spreading. Men-C is treatable when diagnosed in its early stages, but early detection is key to survival.