23 November 2012

Mozambique: Health Week Targets Four Million Children

Photo: Jane Some/IRIN
A health worker administers the polio.

Maputo — The Mozambican Health Ministry is launching a nationwide "Health Week" as from Monday, offering intervention to improve the health of more than four million children under five years old, and about 500,000 women of reproductive age.

A press statement from the Maputo office of the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) said that "all children from zero to five years of age will be vaccinated against polio, children aged from six to 59 months will receive Vitamin A supplements, while children more than one year old will be dewormed".

Vitamin A supplements and deworming should be provided every six months, while vaccinations against polio and other childhood diseases should follow the schedule laid down in the Health Ministry's Expanded Vaccination Programme (PAV).

During the Health Week, all people of reproductive age who are interested may attend counseling sessions on family planning and receive contraceptives of their choice.

An information campaign has been carried out over the past 30 days to inform parents and other care givers, including teachers, and community and religious leaders, of the need to ensure that all children receive the polio vaccination and the vitamin A supplement.

The Health Week will take place in all health units, and mobile health brigades will visit communities across the country from 29 to 30 November.

Among the international bodies supporting the Health Week are UN agencies such as UNICEF and the World Health Organisation (WHO), the World Bank, the Canadian International Development Agency, the British Department for International Development (DFID), and the NGOs Save the Children and Hellen Keller International.

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