The Ministry of Health and Sanitation in collaboration with UNICEF, WHO and other Health Partners will embark on a Nationwide Intergraded Measles Rubella Vaccination Campaign, starting Monday 10th June – Sunday 16th June 2019.
Measles-Rubella Vaccine is a 2 in 1 Vaccine which can be used to vaccinate children 0-under 15 years against Measles and Rubella Diseases, as the 2 diseases share similar features.
The campaign is integrated with Measles Rubella Vaccination, Polio Vaccination and Defaulter Tracing targeting all districts and Vitamin A Supplementation/Capsule, deworming with Albendazole Tablet for the following 7 districts: Bonthe, Moyamba, Port Loko, Kambia, Bombali and Wester Area (Rural & Urban).
The campaign is a 7-day long activity, starting off with a National Launch on June 10th in the Southern Regional City of Bo, with similar event replicated in the other districts.
For Measles Rubella Vaccination, the Campaign will target children 9 months to under 15 years, Under Fives for Polio, 6-59 Months for Vitamin A Supplement/Capsule, 12-59 months for Albendazole Tablet and 0-23 months for Defaulter Tracing.
The campaign strategy will be in 2 folds; all government health facilities and temporarily fixed posts in schools, markets, ranches/’Worrhes’, and any other public places with a high presence of children.
To mobilize communities, Community Health Workers/Social Mobilizers will work with health facility teams of vaccinators to mobilizer caregivers, mothers and communities to take their children to the nearest government health facilities to access the campaign interventions/services.
There will be effective Social Mobilization backed with Public Information and Education to reach caregivers, mothers, communities and stakeholders with key messages on the benefits of the Measles Rubella Vaccination Campaign and to stimulate advocacy and ensure community participation, ownership and sustainability of the MR Campaign; thereby actualizing the campaign goal.
As the bulk of the primary target beneficiaries of the Campaign are School going children, key Education Stakeholders were going to be engaged at both National & District Levels to initiate the process of Advocacy and Awareness Raising in Schools.
Chief Health Education Officer and Programme Manager, Lansana Conteh, Health Education Division is advocating to key Community Stakeholders like Religious Leaders, Traditional Leaders, Mother-to-Mother Support Groups, Councillors, Mammie Queens, School Authorities to support the upcoming Measles Rubella Vaccination Campaign as the campaign is concerned with the health of our children. “Immunization/Marklate is the right of every child” he continued “do not deprive them from it” Mr. Conteh Warned.
By Ibrahim Sorie Koroma
Health Education Officer – HED/MoHS