Women urged to get shots

Health Watch, Normal

The National, Thursday June 20th, 2013


THE World Health Organisation has advised women aged between 15 and 45, including those who are pregnant, to get vaccinated against tetanus. 

Country representative Dr William Adu-Krow said they must get the three rounds of the tetanus toxoid. 

The exercise is currently underway in the country as part of the supplementary immunisation activity (SIA) by the Department of Health, United Nations Children’s Fund and WHO.

He said a study done three years ago at a school in the Solomon Islands found that 67% of female students had soil-transmitted worm infestation, mainly roundworms, hookworms and whipworms. 

The infections cause malnutrition and poor growth for children including anaemia. 

Females in the targeted age group for the SIA would be provided with an albendazole tablet to reduce the burden of the soil-transmitted worm infestation.

Adu-Krow was speaking at the launching of round three of the SIA for tetanus toxoid in Port Moresby on Monday.

Health and HIV/AIDS Minister Michael Malabag said in a statement that the department faced a daunting task to improve the health status of women and children.

“This is indeed a challenge given our current situation but I am confident that together we can make a difference,” he said.

“A programme that I have all confidence in making the difference in enhancing the routine mother to child health outreach programmes is immunising all mothers and children.”

He said the failure to vaccinate all child-bearing-age women deprived newborns the chance to survive.

He said that defeated the country’s plan for a stable and prosperous nation.