h1ni.jpgGovernment has launched a national programme to vaccinate 10% of the country’s population against the H1N1 virus.

 

Health and Child Welfare Deputy Minister, Dr Douglas Mombeshora said the main objective of the vaccination programme is to reduce infections in targeted vulnerable groups.

 

 

“We are going to carry out an H1N1 vaccination programme and we are assuring the nation that the medication has been approved by the Medicines Control Authority of Zimbabwe and we are hoping that within a week we would have finished the programme,” said Dr Mombeshora.

 

The World Health Organisation representative in the country, Dr Custodia Mandlate said they have managed to mobilise resources for the exercise to be carried out and vaccines have already been procured.

‘WHO has provided the technical, financial and material support to the response of the outbreak. We are also carrying out training programmes for provincial technical teams and members of the uniformed forces,” said Dr Mandlate.

 

The vaccination exercise comes after the government revealed that by the end of November last year, a total of 1 538 suspected and 253 probable cases of H1N1 were recorded in the country.

 

On the 12th of April last year, WHO received reports of sustained person-to-person transmission of the new influenza virus AH1N1 in Mexico and the United States, leading the world body to declare the disease a global pandemic in June 2009.

 

To date, a total of 350 million doses of vaccines have been administered globally out of a targeted 570 million and SADC countries like South Africa, Botswana, Swaziland and Lesotho have already carried out vaccination exercises.