Health ministry rolls out dose of cholera vaccine

GOVERNMENT, through the ministry of Health and Child Care, will next week administer the second dose of the Oral Cholera Vaccine (OVC2) amid reports that no new cholera cases have been recorded in Harare since November 2018.

The initiative, being undertaken with support from the World Health Organisation and other partners, follows the first and successful oral cholera vaccination campaign last year, where almost one million people aged one year and above living in 13 high-density suburbs of Harare received one dose of the vaccine (OCV1) in response to the outbreak that affected the capital city and other parts of the country.

The second round of vaccination targets over 1,1 million residents in the same cholera hotspots of Harare namely Mbare, Budiriro, Glen-Norah, Glen-View, Hopley, Mufakose and Waterfalls will receive their vaccine starting from March 25, to April 01, 2019 whilst Caledonia, Dzivaresekwa, Hatcliffe, Kuwadzana,  Mabvuku and Tafara will receive theirs starting from March 26, to April 2, 2019.

Portia Manangazira, the director of epidemiology disease control in the ministry of Health and Child Care, said the second and final dose will provide the people with effective protection against cholera for the next three to five years.

She stressed on importance of the vaccination programme, which is supported by GAVI, an International Vaccine Alliance, said government is targeting Cholera hotspots to prevent the epidemic from spreading to other parts of the country.

The first round of vaccination conducted in October last year was part of the various public health measures put in place to control the cholera outbreak and to curb the spread of the water-borne disease.

“We achieved high coverage in all suburbs and would like to thank the communities who were very co-operative during the first phase of the programme,” she said.