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Communities resist measles vaccination

There is resistance to the measles vaccination blitz in Hurungwe, Mashonaland West province, which was implemented following the secret burial of 35 unvaccinated children.

A team deployed in Deve’s ward 24 area for the vaccination campaign has had to deal with a difficult community, NewsDay has heard.

“As soon as the dust had settled on our arrival at one family homestead, several children literally vanished from our sight and we were shocked when the father took us hostage,” a team member said.

At least 35 secret burials of minors were reported last month in ward 22 under Nyama area and ward 4 near Lynx Mine, prompting a blitz targeting the affected communities.

Hurungwe District Hospital promotions officer Komberero Gotosa said more wards would be targeted in the vaccination programme.

“The approved plan is a targeted integrated exercise spelling out all services that include prevention, vaccination, screening for health conditions in the targeted wards,” Gotosa told a stakeholders meeting last week.

“Resources and manpower have been mobilised for the blitz. We are dealing with a hesitant community to accept healthcare services.”

Gotosa said they were seeking total access to the targeted communities since they had held engagements at different levels from ward, district, province to national level to ensure that uptake is enhanced.

The mapping blitz teams will be deployed in wards 1, 2, 3, 4, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 14, 21, 23 and 24, with the programme covering Karoi urban’s 10 wards.

Department of Civil Protection district chairperson Andrew Tizora said communities resisted medication due to religious beliefs.

“Unfortunately, the worst affected age is below 15 years who cannot make their own decision,” Tizora said.

“We need to persuade them so that they understand basic children’s rights. Traditional leadership and councillors can help in getting positive results.”

Source | NewsDay


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