ARUSHA, Tanzania, April 25 (Xinhua) -- Tanzania is set to embark on a national Measles-Rubella vaccination campaign to improve the general health and survival of children in the country, a senior official said Thursday.
The campaign, which is to be done with the World Health Organization (WHO), targets children aged between nine and 59 months.
Dafroza Lyimo, the Immunization Programme Manager in the Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly, and Children, said that the fresh measles and rubella vaccination campaign is scheduled next September after it was realized that a huge number of children did not complete earlier jabs creating a pathway to the outbreak of the contagious diseases.
"One of the key challenges was all those children missed the first dose creating a pathway to new outbreaks," Lyimo said.
She said the follow-up campaign slated to kick from September this year targets children between nine to 59 months irrespective of whether vaccinated or not.
"I call on all parents to use the opportunity by sending their children to the nearest health center or dispensary to receive full complement vaccination," she said when speaking during the World Immunization Week. It is a global public health campaign to raise awareness and increase rates of immunization against vaccine-preventable diseases around the world. The event takes place each year during the last week of April.
William Mwengee, WHO immunization advisor in Tanzania, said that the planned vaccination is meant to achieve some 95 percent coverage across the country.