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Zim children to get swine flu vaccine

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  • Zim children to get swine flu vaccine

    Zim children to get swine flu vaccine

    by Caroline Mvundura Saturday 24 July 2010

    HARARE ? Zimbabwe health authorities on Friday announced a programme to vaccinate school children, health workers and chronically ill patients against the Influenza A (H1N1) virus also known as swine flu.
    Deputy health minister Douglas Mombeshora said the vaccination programme was meant to reduce the chances of infection among groups considered at high risk of contracting the disease.

    ?The main objective of the pandemic influenza vaccination programme is to reduce infections in the targeted vulnerable groups and protect those at risk of developing severe disease,? he said.

    The flu that alarmed the world when the first cases were detected in Mexico in early 2009 before quickly spreading to other parts of the world has claimed hundreds of lives to date.

    Zimbabwe recorded its first confirmed cases of swine flu August 2009 at a school in east of the country.

    Quick action by then newly formed unity government of President Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, the University of Zimbabwe and the World Health Organisation (WHO) helped prevent a major epidemic in country.

    The WHO and the United Nations Children?s Education Fund will also work with the government on the vaccination programme, according to Mombeshora.

    The deputy minister said all drugs that will be used in the programme would be registered by the Medicines Control Authority of Zimbabwe (MCAZ) to ensure quality control.

    ?I want to put emphasis on the quality control and quality assurance programme run by the MCAZ, and reassure the nation that highest standards have always been maintained, leaving no room at all for the delivery of inferior quality or expired vaccine use in Zimbabwe? he said.

    WHO?s resident representative to Harare, Custodia Mandlhate said the vaccination programme should cover 10 percent of the most vulnerable population.

    ?We are going to vaccinate school children below the age of 17 years of which three million are going to benefit from the 1, 5 million doses,? she said.

    Mandlhate said vaccines to be used in the programme were already in the country while training of health care officials will began on Friday. Vaccination begins next Monday. ? ZimOnline.
    Twitter: @RonanKelly13
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