The National, Tuesday June 18th, 2013
ROUND three of the supplementary immunisation activity (SIA) for tetanus toxoid was launched in Port Moresby yesterday to mark the start of the nationwide exercise.
The campaign targets all females aged 15 to 45 years, including pregnant women, to be vaccinated and protected against the tetanus infection.
All females will be given albendazole tablet to address deworming of the female population in an effort to reduce the burden of soil transmitted worm infestation in PNG.
The goal of the campaign is to accelerate the prevention of the tetanus infection in newborn babies through the mother who is protected from tetanus.
The SIA is conducted by the Health Department in partnership with the United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef) and the World Health Organisation until July 26.
It is an undertaking by the Government through the department and its partners to vaccinate approximately 1.8 million females and 750,000 children.
Parents are urged to bring their children who are under one year for routine immunisation, six months to one year for vitamin A supplement and zero to five years for oral polio vaccine in 10 selected provinces.
Deputy Health Secretary (national health services and standards) Dr Paison Dakulala said the SIA was the Government’s priority to improve maternal and child health in the country.
“Papua New Guinea and the Health Department are committed to undertake three rounds of preventative tetanus toxoid campaigns to protect the women and children from the disease.
“Women and children are two very vital assets of our society yet they are the two most vulnerable groups. It is absolutely necessary for us to talk about issues concerning their well being.”