In just a week of the rollout of the National Meningococcal (Men C) Immunisation Programme a total of 23,489 children aged one to 19 years across the Central Division and Ra Sub-Division have been immunised.
The nationwide mass immunisation campaign led by the Ministry of Health and Medical Services is supported by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the World Health Organization (WHO). This campaign aims to vaccinate 325,000 children and adolescents against Meningococcal disease. The immunisation programme began on May 14th and will continue until Friday, June 29, 2018.
It targets all children and teenagers aged one to 19 years and is being delivered at all schools, health centres and nursing stations within the Central Division and Ra Subdivision.
Immunisation roll out to the Western, Northern and Eastern Divisions will follow.
- For children aged one to five years old, who do not attend school, parents and guardians can get them immunised by taking them to the nearest health centre or nursing station.
- For children aged five to 17 years old, and in school, immunisation teams are visiting schools and immunising children under parental consent.
If any child misses out on their immunisation at school, he or she can be immunised at the nearest health centre or nursing station.
- For those aged 18-19 years old, undertaking tertiary level studies who stay home or are working, immunisation is available at any health centre or nursing station nearest to them. The ministry encourages all Fijians in this age group to get immunised.
- Consent forms are provided to children under the age of 18 years, and immunisation will only be given to those children with a signed parental consent form.
The Health Ministry advises that Men C immunisation is safe and effective and is used in many immunisation programmes around the world.
The Family Health team is conducting training for nurses in the Northern Division. Similar training is being organised for the nurses in the Western and Eastern divisions.
The health workers will work to immunise the children and adolescents across Fiji, with the campaign initially focusing on the most at risk groups.
Meningococcal disease is a life-threatening disease, which usually causes meningitis (inflammation of the lining of the brain and spinal cord) and/or septicaemia (blood poisoning).