2 December 2013

Gambia: Meningitis Vaccination Campaign


The most efficient resource for producing the sustainable socio-economic transformation of any nation is a healthy populace. In fact, the health status of the people of any given nation is in itself an indicator of growth and progress since it can be a parameter to gauge the participation of their development process.

The ongoing meningitis vaccination campaign across the country is another indication that the government is not relenting on efforts to improve the health situation of the country. We need not talk about the significance of the campaign or the effects of the disease in question since such information is public knowledge. However, we urge all those within the age bracket to be vaccinated to cooperate with the vaccination teams and endeavour to make their work easy.

Already, records have it that of the 1,000- 2,600 people who get meningococcal disease each year, one-third are teens and young adults, while 10-15% of those who get sick with the disease will die, even with antibiotic treatment. Up to 20% will have permanent side effects, such as hearing loss or brain damage. This is why immunization against meningococcal disease so important.

Already, the rapid expansion of hospitals across the country equipped with modern medical facilities and highly trained doctors, particularly those from Cuba, have greatly improved the health status of Gambians and non-Gambians in the country. And efforts by the Health Ministry to set standards to sell hygienic street food, the monthly Operation Clean the Nation - to make our environments fit and conducive for habitation, just to mention a few, is sufficient evidence that the government is sparing no efforts in ensuring that we live a healthy life and in a healthy environment.

The vaccination is part of that wider effort and people should therefore play their part to make the campaign a success.

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