Government drives immunisation campaign

The Ministry of Health (M.O.H.) its continuing with its immunisation programme, reminding parents and all Samoans that immunisation can save children’s lives and prevent another measles outbreak.

The Ministry of Health joined the rest of the world in commemorating the World Immunisation Week on the 24th April 2020.

As part of this, the Minister of Health, Faimalatoa Kika Stowers launched a week long campaign to promote immunisation.

She acknowledged that globally, immunisation has been proven to be one of the most cost-effective health interventions in saving millions of lives every year. 

Faimalatoa added that the World Health Organization declared in 1980, the eradication of smallpox disease is a result of continuous vaccinations and this made it the world’s first eradicated disease.

“The theme for this year’s global commemoration is ‘Vaccines Work for all’ and it focuses on how vaccines – and the people who develop, deliver and receive them – are all heroes by working to protect the health of everyone, everywhere,” she said.

The Health Minister added that during the measles outbreak in 2019, Samoa’s successful response with its country-wide vaccination was a proven demonstration of the importance of the use of vaccines and achieving herd immunity to combat and alleviate such outbreaks.

Immunisation services in Samoa are provided at all the 13 hospitals including the district hospitals and health centre from Monday to Friday around 9am – 4pm.

As part of the campaign, a number of activities aimed to raise awareness of the general public on the significance of immunisation and to encourage parents to vaccinate their children to protect them from certain diseases.

Some of the activities include the “#faituipuipui TikTok” competition that is currently promoted and conducted on social media.

And the Child Health & Immunisation Book Cover Design competition that is attracting local graphic designers and artists to participate. 

Another program for all the District Hospitals and Health Centres whereby nurses will be providing brief educational programs around the significance of ‘routine immunisation’ for the children. 

The small parent group awareness session is to remind parents on the importance of keeping the Child Health & Immunisation Book as it captures all the health information and updated information of the child.

This initiative will also see the Ministry giving some incentives for the parents and children that will be utilizing the Immunization Week campaign to turn up to be vaccinated as well as some draws to reward parents that are keeping up with the routine immunization for their children especially from since birth up to 15-months-old. 

However, throughout the whole week, there will be radio and TV programs featuring the Nurses responsible for delivering the immunization program, whom will advocate the importance of the vaccinations. 

The Immunisation Week campaign is running until the 30th April.

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