Tue. Oct 26th, 2021

Zanzibar — ZANZIBAR has begun cholera vaccination exercise, a campaign that targets to eliminate the epidemic in the Isles by 2028. The World Health Organization (WHO) has donated the vaccine and equipment to support the exercise.

Minister for Health, Social welfare, Elders, Gender, and Children Mr Nassor Ahmed Mazrui stated that the Isles started the exercise on Friday this week.

Mr Mazrui thanked the organization, saying that the ‘Oral Cholera Vaccines (OCVs)’ will be given to more than 300,000 people in areas experiencing frequent outbreaks in Unguja and Pemba.

The WHO liaison officer- Zanzibar, Dr Ghirmay Andemichael handed over the consignment to the minister, promising continued support. Dr Fadhil Mohamed Abdaulla- Director of Prevention and Public Awareness under the Ministry of Health, Social Welfare, Elders, Gender and Children, to,d reporters that the first phase of the vaccination exercise will last for five days in 34 administrative wards (Shehia). Zanzibar has a population of 1.5 million, according to 2018 estimates.

“The second phase of the vaccine is scheduled for July 31 to August 4 this year and all people in selected areas will have to take the vaccine with exception of pregnant mothers, infants under one-year of age, and people under close observation in Intensive Care Unit (ICU). We would like to inform all people that the vaccine is safe,” Dk Abdulla said.

Flanked by other health officers, including Ms Halima Khamis who is responsible for the vaccination campaign and Dr Vendelin Simon from the World Health Organization (WHO), he asked the media to help spread the message to the targeted areas so attract a big turn-out.

At the meeting held in the Ministry, Ms Khamis explained the importance of the safe vaccine, urging people to dismiss as baseless information linking the vaccine with COVID-19.