HEALTH AUTHORITIES IDENTIFIED AGE GROUP AT RISK TO MEASLES

Undersecretary Health Improvement Dr Tenneth Dalipanda talking to the press while Dr Aaron Oritaimae looks on. Photo credit: SIBC.

Undersecretary Health Improvement Dr Tenneth Dalipanda talking to the press while Dr Aaron Oritaimae looks on. Photo credit: SIBC.

Undersecretary for Health Improvement at the Ministry of Health and Medical Services, Dr Tenneth Dalipanda says the age group most affected by the measles outbreak are those below 24 months and between 10-24 years.

Dr Dalipanda revealed this is a media conference at the National Referral Hospital in Honiara yesterday.

He told local reporters that 70 percent of these cases are children below 12 months old while half of this group- the greater risk category are below six months old.

“Seventy percent of those cases are children below the age of 12 months, half of this group fall even below six months, so that is the current distribution of cases that we have seen. As you would also know that the way to reduce the infection’s transmission is by immunization, meaning all the risk population and all these age groups the best way to deal with them is to actually give them the measles vaccine.”

Dr Dalipanda adds, working with the Honiara City Council’s health division, they have so far managed to cover 68 percent of children between six to 11 months with vaccination.

Meanwhile, Dr Tenneth Dalipanda says they are engaged on a mass immunization campaign especially in Honiara this week.

He says their team is working hard to get children immunized, adding that about 44,000 doses needs to be given out.

“A mass campaign we are doing in Honiara City Council, we expect to immunize children of that age group, about 44,000 doses needs to be given out, so if you can imagine the numbers that we are talking about, we still got a fair bit of coverage to do. We believe we have more than 30 percent of coverage so far up to today but the team is working very hard to improve on those immunization coverage.”

SIBC News understands, 11 sites have been identified by the Ministry of Health and Medical Services together with the Honiara City Council’s health division, as immunization sites.

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