ROTA vaccine introduced in Chipata

Rotavirus vaccine

The Ministry of Community Development, Mother and Child Health has appealed to people in Chipata district to support the ROTA vaccine meant to immunize children against diarrhoea.

Acting District Medical Officer in the Chipata Community Health Office, Patrick Mbewe, stated that the office only has a grant to carry out immunisation hence the need for stakeholders to come on board to assist the office with transport or fuel before the programme
starts on December 19, 2013.

Mr Mbewe was speaking at a stakeholders ROTA vaccine meeting held at Gemita Lodge in Chipata.

He stated that the new vaccine, which prevents diarrhoea in children under the age of five years, will also be administered during the immunization programme to be given at six weeks to 32 months.

He said the first dose will be given to children between 6 and 15 weeks of age while the second dose will be given to children between 10 and 32 weeks which translate to two months 2 weeks and 8 months.

“Chipata has 42 health centres which are divided into eight and needs about eight vehicles to carry out the programme effectively as they are in shortfall,” he added.

Mr Mbewe has since advised health workers to advocate and ensure the right message is given to parents to encourage them to take their children for the ROTA vaccine alongside other vaccines.

Mr Mbewe noted that the onus is on the health workers and stakeholders to send the right message to parents if they are to willingly take their children for immunization especially that ROTA vaccine is newly introduced in the district after being administered in Lusaka as a
pilot programme.

He stated that the ROTA vaccine is safe for use and has been approved by the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Community Development Mother and Child Health.

A ROTA vaccine is an oral-swallowed vaccine that protects babies against severe diarrhoea and vomiting caused by rotavirus.