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South Africa: Minister Motsoaledi calls for parents to take children for vaccinations

April 24, 2018

This year`s African Vaccination Week is celebrated under the slogan “Vaccinated communities, Healthy communities” which is supported by the theme “Vaccines work, Do your part!” 

PRETORIA, South Africa, April 24, 2018,-/African Media Agency (AMA)/- As South Africa celebrates the 8th African Vaccination Week (23-29 April 2018) which is aimed at raising awareness about the importance and effectiveness of vaccines, the Minister of Health Dr Aaron Motsoaledi urges all parents and caregivers to take children to their nearest clinic for free vaccination to immunize children against vaccine-preventable diseases such as measles and polio.

Immunisation is one of the greatest and most effective medical interventions in human history, and has saved millions of lives, especially amongst children below the age of five years against serious childhood diseases that are preventable by using vaccines routinely.

Since the introduction of these vaccines, rates of diseases such as polio, measles, hepatitis B, rubella, diphtheria, pertussis (whooping cough), and meningitis caused by haemophilus influenzae type B (Hib) continue to decline.

African Vaccination Week is an annual event celebrated during the last week of April to strengthen immunisation programmes in the African Region by increasing awareness of the importance of every person’s need and right to be protected from vaccine-preventable diseases, particularly every child and woman.

This year`s African Vaccination Week is celebrated under the slogan “Vaccinated communities, Healthy communities” which is supported by the theme “Vaccines work, Do your part!” to highlight the collective action needed to ensure that every person, children in particular are protected from vaccine-preventable diseases.

“It is our collective responsibility as parents, caregivers and communities to work side-by-side with the health system to ensure that our children are up-to-date with immunization to protect them from infectious childhood diseases because one unvaccinated child can pose a huge risk to children they stay or play with. That is why I urge everyone to ensure that their children receive these free services at their nearest clinic because vaccination does not only protect the individual but curbs the spread of diseases within the community”, said Minister Motsoaledi.

All vaccines used in the Expanded Programme on Immunisation in South Africa (EPISA), are manufactured according to strict standards to ensure efficacy, quality and safety before registration and approval for use. In addition, these vaccines meet WHO standards of quality, safety and efficacy.

Members of the media are invited to African Vaccination Week Celebrations as follows:

Date: Wednesday, 25 April 2018
Time: 08h30 – 13:00
Venue: J.Dumane Community Health Centre, Vosloorus – Ekurhuleni

For attendance and RSVP, please contact Mr Tlou Tlhako on Tlou.Tlhako@health.gov.za/ 071 382 7425

Distributed by African Media Agency (AMA) on behalf of Republic of South Africa: Department of Health.

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