Mauritius: Mauritius introduces Pneumococcal Vaccine

Port-Louis, Mauritius (PANA) - Mauritius on Thursday introduced the Pneumococcal Vaccine  to its Expanded Programme on Immunisation as recommended by the World Health Organisation (WHO), PANA learnt from the Health and Quality of Life Ministry in Port-Louis.

The vaccine is designed to protect children against pneumococcal diseases, such as meningitis, pneumonia sinusitis and otitis media (ear infection), among others,

At an official ceremony marking the event, Health and Quality of Life Minister Anil Gayan, highlighted the importance of the Expanded Programme on Immunisation in Mauritius which has enabled children to live healthy lives.

“The significant contributions from vaccination include the eradication of smallpox, the elimination of poliomyelitis, and a decrease in many other infectious diseases such as diphtheria, tetanus, measles, and mumps," he emphasised.

According to the minister, vaccination coverage in Mauritius currently stands at 95%.

Speaking on the benefits of the newly-introduced Pneumococcal Vaccine, he said this will comprise a reduction in mortality and morbidity rates, as well as a decrease in the use of antibiotic treatment.

Mr Gayan, however, insisted that parents should keep track of their wards' immunisation requirements to ensure that their children do not miss any vaccine.

He cautioned parents that the pneumococcal vaccine is complementary to other measures such as breastfeeding for first six months in the life of a baby, and adoption of healthy lifestyles.

One health official indicated that the Expanded Programme on Immunisation is a vaccination delivery initiative for children and pregnant women through a standardised immunisation schedule which aims to provide infants with additional protection from infectious diseases.

"Under this programme delivered in public health institutions, routine vaccinations are offered free of charge against tuberculosis, diphtheria, whooping cough, tetanus, poliomyelitis, measles, mumps, rubella, hepatitis B, and rotavirus gastro-enteritis," he said.

"Pneumococci frequently colonise the human nasopharynx (the back of the nose), and are transmitted mainly through respiratory droplets (cough, sneeze). Many children carry the bacteria in their nose or throat at any given time. Pneumococcal diseases are common in children, under five years of age, and among the elderly," the official indicated.
-0- PANA NA/VAO 24March2016

24 مارس 2016 12:28:09

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