The National, Monday July 8th, 2013
ALL mothers and young girls of child-bearing age from 15 to 45 years in Jiwaka have been urged to get tetanus toxoid injection to avoid developing tetanus, which can also affect their unborn babies.
A senior officer from the National Department of Health in Port Moresby Johnny Arawa told a crowd at Banz in Jiwaka that tetanus was a killer among women of child-bearing age and preventative measures should be taken to avoid the disease.
He reminded the people, especially mothers and young girls, about this while speaking on radio about safe motherhood and the need for immunisation against tetanus on Radio Western Highlands.
The show was was held from two hours from 11am at Banz and attracted a big crowd.
Representatives on the show panel included Arawa, Dr Magdalyn Kaupa, Sr Jenny Walep, Sr Giagao Kipa and John Nia.
Arawa launched the third round of the nationwide immunisation programme in Jiwaka. The program started on June 17 and would end on July 26.
Arawa said tetanus would spread easily through deliveries in villages and the use of improper tools such as bamboo and razor blades to cut umbilical chords and urged mothers to be immunised and to go to the nearest health facility to deliver.
Kaupa said tetanus caused paralysis of the muscles and if mothers and young girls were not immunised, their babies could be affected.
She told the public that due to the supplementary immunisation programme that was carried out last year, the paediatrics reports from 10 hospitals in the country had shown that only eight children had contracted tetanus.
In two of the cases in Mt Hagen people were treated and released.
Kaupa said all immunisation and health programmes in PNG were endorsed by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and Unicef and vaccines used were pre-qualified.
Health promotion coordinator Kipa told the people that eating good, nutritious foods would help keep them healthy and strong.
She said there were three groups of food which people should eat and these included protein foods, protective foods and energy foods.
She said these foods were especially good for pregnant women as it they kept unborn babies healthy.
Kipa warned that babies should only be given food after they had reached foiur to six months.
The show presented an opportunity for people to ask and learn more about health issues doctors, nurses and health workers were there to answer questions.