By: Foday Manneh
A public health officer, Dawda Nenegalleh Jallow, has said the ongoing nationwide Measles and Rubella immunization of children are “untimely,” as it happens when Acute Kidney Injury (AKI) has killed 70 children to date, according to the latest official figures.
“I have been on this National Integrated Measles & Rubella Vaccination Campaign; it’s pretty apparent that the timing is bad. The Ministry should act now before resources are wasted.
“Many people have lost confidence in the healthcare system, the poor planning across different health facilities and lack of involvement of relevant stakeholders,” he said.
The nationwide vaccination campaign from 18 to 23 October targets 341,446) children aged 9 to 59 months. During the exercise, Vitamin A and Mebendazole, the deworming medicine will be given to children aged 6 to 59 months.
However, according to Jallow, the campaign lacks “the right timing, effective planning, proactive communication strategies, and the involvement of every stakeholder to make it a success.”
“Three days into the campaign, the rate of vaccine hesitancy is high, and this can be attributed to the AKI in children,” he said.
As regards his active involvement as a monitor in the vaccination process, Jallow believes the target will not be achieved. “Effective strategies need to be put in place to even attain 50 percent of the vaccination rate.”