Mozambique to include Hepatitis B in vaccination campaign

Maputo- Mozambique (PANA) -- The Mozambican Health ministry has indicated it plans to include, beginning July, Hepatitis B vaccination in the ongoing national immunisation programme.
At a workshop in Maputo, spokesman Jorge Barreto said children would receive a combined vaccine against Diphtheria, Whooping Cough and Hepatitis B.
Data presented at the workshop showed that 10-15,000 people die in Mozambique every year from acute liver infections caused by the Hepatitis B virus.
Mozambique is one of the countries with the highest prevalence of Hepatitis B in the world.
While the World Health Organisation regards seven per cent prevalence as a "high," Mozambique has a 15 percent infection rate, most of these occurring in childhood.
The virus is transmitted through personal contact, often via saliva or blood, when children play together.
It can lie dormant in the body for decades, with symptoms surfacing only in adult life.
The Global Alliance for Vaccination and Immunisation (GAVI) is financing the application of the Hepatitis B vaccine in Mozambique, with funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and other donors.

16 june 2001 16:31:00

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