Second round of cholera vaccine rolled out

Source: Second round of cholera vaccine rolled out | The Sunday Mail 24 MAR, 2019

Veronica Gwaze

Government will roll out the second phase of the cholera vaccination programme, which is expected to cover over 1,1 million residents in the capital.

The programme, through which the Oral Cholera Vaccine (OVC2) will be administered, is supported by the

World Health Organisation (WHO) and international partners such as GAVI.

It has already been rolled out in both Chitungwiza and Epworth.

Director of epidemiology disease control in the Ministry of Health and Child Care Dr Portia Manangazira said the exercise will begin tomorrow.

“The second round of vaccination targets over 1,1 million residents in cholera hotspots of Harare.

“Mbare, Budiriro, Glen Norah, Glen View, Hopley, Mufakose and Waterfalls will receive their vaccines from March 25 to April 1.

“Caledonia, Dzivaresekwa, Hatcliffe, Kuwadzana, Mabvuku and Tafara will receive theirs starting from March 26 to April 2,” she said.

About one million people were vaccinated through the first phase of the programme.

“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 curb the spread of cholera to other parts.

“While the first phase was conducted successfully, with high turnout in all suburbs, we call upon all communities to be cooperative,” said Dr Manangazira.

She emphasised the need to continue practising good hygiene standards.

Local authorities, she added, need to expeditiously provide potable water to ratepayers.

WHO vaccine consultant Dr Marc Poncin said the vaccine will protect people against water borne diseases for up to five years if they receive all the two scheduled doses.

“People who will receive the second and final dose will be provided with effective protection against specific water borne diseases in the next three to five years.

“This will go a long way in curbing further transmission from one suburb to another in the capital city and to other provinces as it was the case with the last cholera outbreak,” said Dr Poncin.

Those who received a single dose of the vaccine will be protected up to one year.

Experts say the increased incidence of both cholera and typhoid is associated with increased use of contaminated boreholes and shallow wells.

No new cholera cases have been recorded in Harare since November 2018.