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INTERNATIONAL, DILI, HEALTH

WHO urges parents to get their children vaccinated against measles, rubella, pneumonia, and polio

WHO urges parents to get their children vaccinated against measles, rubella, pneumonia, and polio

Photo/WHO

DILI, 18 january 2023 (TATOLI) – WHO-Timor-Leste is urging the Timorese parents to get their children vaccinated against measles, rubella, pneumonia, and polio.

“I keep appealing to everyone, every parent, every elder, every sibling, every head of villages and hamlets, municipalities authorities, and administrators of administrative posts to bring your children for vaccination,” WHO Representative to Timor-Leste, Arvind Mathur told TATOLI.

“I keep appealing to everyone, every parent, every elder, every sibling, every village and hamlet head, municipal authorities, and administrators of administrative posts to get your children vaccinated,” WHO representative in Timor-Leste, Arvind Mathur, told TATOLI.

Mathur said the vaccination campaign is very important for disease control in Timor-Leste: “This would help protect the Timorese children from measles, rubella, pneumonia, and polio. The children will also receive the benefit of Vitamin A, which boosts their immunity and improves their vision. They will also be given deworming tablets to keep lumbricoides away to help them absorb food better.”

The Ministry of Health (MoH) together with the World Health Organization (WHO), and the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF), last week, launched the country’s first integrated national vaccination campaign.

This campaign aims to ensure that 95% of Timorese children less than five are vaccinated and protected from childhood diseases.

Mathur emphasized that it is important to ensure that measles will remain in the eliminated stage in Timor-Leste: “We can possibly look to rubella as a condition to be also eliminated in the country.”

In 2018, with 98% measles and rubella vaccine coverage in the country, WHO certified and congratulated Timor-Leste for eliminating measles and having rubella under control.

He said that 24% of children less than five years did not receive the Measles and Rubella vaccine during Covid-19: “Children who were born after 2018 needed to be given the MR vaccine, but many of those children missed receiving the vaccine. Therefore, this Campaign is critical to bridge the vaccination gap and cover those children who have not yet been vaccinated with the MR vaccine,” said Mathur.

Integrated Campaign was recommended by WHO as a supplementary immunization activity to bridge the vaccination gap to protect children from death and morbidity.

Mathur said it is also important to introduce the benefit of the new vaccine called pneumococcal vaccine (PVC): “Pneumonia is the biggest killer of children under five, including in Timor-Leste. In fact, 21% of children under five have been admitted to hospital with pneumonia condition.”

 

 

Journalist: Filomeno Martins 

Editor: Nelia Borges

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