13 August 2012

Zambia: Ndola DHMT Seeks More Medics

NDOLA has a shortfall of 170 health workers out of the 290 needed to carry out the forth-coming vaccination against measles campaign.

This came to light during a planning meeting organised by the Ndola District Health Management Team (DHMT) planning meeting held in Ndola recently.

Acting director at DHMT Lillian Nyendwa said the district was faced with a crisis because it only had 120 health workers for the national measles campaign which starts from September 10 to September 15, 2012.

She said the district would fail to meet its target group of 240,000 children aged between six months and 15 years if the number of health workers was not beefed up.

"We have asked other health institutions such as the Ndola School of Nursing to help provide more health workers to be used in the campaign and private health facilities would also help us with two workers who would be conducting the measles campaign at the private hospitals," she said.

Dr Nyendwa revealed that the district has devised a strategy to capture all the 110,000 pupils in schools and in the outskirts of Ndola who would be vaccinated against measles prior to the national campaign.

She said the team was faced with a challenge as most teens considered themselves as adults thereby shunning the campaigns and implored parents to get involved by speaking to their teen-aged children about the importance of being vaccinated.

Dr Nyendwa said measles was a killer disease which should be taken seriously to avoid its outbreaks.

She emphasised that all children would receive the vaccine even if they had been vaccinated before as the vaccine could have a failure rate of about 15 per cent the first time it was administered.

"The second dose increases the protective response in children and likelihood of immunity. The first one given when a baby is nine months old does not develop the protective response in some children that is why the second chance should not be missed," she said.

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