Mothers and guardians, who had missed out or defaulted on their childrenâ€™s immunisation schedules, have been given a second go after African Ministers of Health adopted a resolution to introduce an annual African Vaccination Week to sustain vaccination advocacy and expand community participation.
The resolution was passed last year at the 60th Session of the World Health Organisation Regional Committee for Africa Meeting.
A visit to some poly-clinics in Harare showed that there were long queues as mothers sought have their children immunised.
The immunisation week programme was jointly organised by the Ministry of Health and Child Welfare, Harare City Council, World Health Organisation (WHO) and UNICEF.
Harare City Council Assistant Health Director,Â Mrs Pauline Munyaradzi commended some apostolic sect members who have heeded the callÂ and have been bringing their children to get the life saving vaccines.
Children under 5 years of age are eligible to be vaccinated for the 6 child killer diseases namely: measles, tuberculosis, poliomyelitis, whooping cough, diphtheria and tetanus.
Harare City Council Director of Health Services, Dr Stanley Mungofa said the service is free at all council clinics and government health centres, and mothers and guardians must take advantage of the week by bringing their children, especially those who are due for vaccination.
The African Vaccination Week, which was launched on Friday the 8th, will run until the 15th of this month and expectations are high that the days will help in accelerating progress towards the attainment of the 4th Millennium Development GoalÂ of reducing child mortality by two thirds by 2015.
Supplementary immunisation activities and routine immunisation coverage have in some instances failed to reach all the children under 5 years due to a number of reasons and this is threatening to reverse gains achieved in eradicating the 6 child killer diseases.