Maputo — A national Health Week for Women and Children began throughout Mozambique on Monday, with the main task of vaccinating all children under the age of five against polio.
In Maputo, the opening ceremony was chaired by the Governor of the City, Lucilia Nota Hama, who stressed that the Health Week is part of the government’s efforts to increase the coverage of the health and nutrition services.
The objective, she added, is to combat diseases that contribute to high child mortality rates – such as diarrhoeal diseases and acute respiratory infections.
The targets for Maputo city include vaccinating 204,195 children aged between 0 and 59 months against polio, providing vitamin A supplements for 195,836 children aged between 6 and 59 months, and deworming 173,144 children aged between 12 and 59 months.
The Health Week also has a family planning component which, in Maputo, seeks to reach 237,630 women aged between 15 and 49.
Speaking of the Vitamin A supplements, Hama said “deficiencies in micro-nutrients reduce children’s growth, harm their eyesight, and contribute to reduced resistance to infection. They thus lead to an increase in child mortality rates”.
The Maputo City Health Director, Pascoa Wate, said there are almost no cases of polio cases in the city thanks to the repeated vaccination campaigns.
“We had two cases, but they’re not children from the city – we discovered they came from other provinces”, said Wate. “In the city, we have not recorded any cases of polio, because of the vaccination coverage we have been achieving”.