14 December 2012

Tanzania: Ministry of Health Distributes Cholera, Pneumonia Vaccines

Photo: http://www.irinnews.org
Nine people are reported dead and over 300 undergoing treatment for cholera in Sumbawanga district (file photo).

THE Ministry of Health and Social Welfare has started distributing new vaccines for cholera and pneumonia ready for country-wide vaccination in January, next year.

The Ministry's Immunization and Vaccination Development Manager, Dr Dafroza Lyimo, said the vaccines will be distributed to all health centres in the country.

Speaking during the Annual Africa Vaccination summit organized by the World Health Organization (WHO) held at the Bank of Tanzania (BoT), Dr Lyimo said that citizens will have no reason to worry over the availability of the vaccines.

"The vaccines have arrived in the country and our ministry has received them. Now the distribution is taking place to all health centres in the country. So, people should not worry over accessibility of pneumonia and cholera vaccines," she stated.

Speaking earlier during the launching ceremony held at Buguruni health centre, the Minister for Health and Social Welfare, Dr Hussein Mwinyi, said his office has ensured that all children access vaccination for cholera and pneumonia.

"We set ourselves on this issue so as to identify the children who are still to be vaccinated to enable them access this service which is being offered free of charge country-wide," Dr Mwinyi noted.

Dr Lyimo went on to say that the government has gone a step further as through the vaccination programme, reduced the number of deaths in children under five years old by 49 per cent from 1999 to 2012.

She added that the number of deaths in children under the age of one year also decreased by 45 per cent. Statistics show that 122,000 children die every year and most of the deaths are caused by malaria, pneumonia and cholera.

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