By Bill W. Cooper
The Ministry of Health (MoH) through its Expanded Program on Immunization (EPI) in partnership with Liberia Crusader for Peace (LCP) has embarked on a nationwide community engagement and dialogue on routine immunization (vaccination) initiative.
With funding from the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI); the launching brought face-to-face Traditional leaders, the Muslim Council, the Council of Churches including the LCP Ambassador, Juli Endee and several baby-mothers, as the initiative is expected to take place throughout the 15 counties of Liberia.
Officially launching the initiative on behalf of the Health Minster, Dr. Wilhelmina Jallah over the weekend, at the Monrovia City Corporation (MCC) in Monrovia, the EPI Program Manager, Adolphus T. Clarke narrated that in 1974, all member states were written by WHO to establish the EPI, and stated that Liberia as a country did not do so until 1978.
Mr. Clarke among other things stated that the establishment of the EPI was and still is to reduce the morbidity and mortality of vaccines and preventer diseases in children from 0 to 23 months, adolescent girls from 9 years as well as women of child bearing age.
According to him, during the establishment of the program in 1978; they were at the time preventing diseases ranging from tuberculosis, polio, measles, death-thereon, whooping cough and tetanus, indicating that since that time, Liberia like other countries has made tremendous strive in ensuring that more diseases are brought under prevention.
He named yellow fever, hypothetic, Nemuron, diarrhea and measles among others are some of the diseases that vaccines have been introduced for the purpose of prevention since the establishment of the EPI in Liberia.
Meanwhile, the MoH EPI Program Manager further revealed that the MoH Expanded Program on Immunization with its funding and implementing partners will this month begin the administering of the new Typhoid vaccines across the 15 counties of the country.
Mr. Clarke further stated that the administering of the new Typhoid vaccines will commence from the 24th to the 28th of February, disclosing that the new Typhoid vaccines should only be administered to all children from 9-Moths to 15-years of age, as their target is for over 1,901,130,000 between the above ages to be vaccinated during the stipulated period.
He then used the occasion to make a passionate plea to various parents to take advantage of the opportunity by carrying their child, children or babies to the nearest vaccination site which includes Clinics or Hospitals in order for them to be vaccinated with the new Typhoid vaccines as means of protecting them against childhood sickness.
Earlier, the LCP Ambassador, Juli Endee explained that routine immunization is a sustainable, reliable and timely interaction between those who deliver and receive the vaccines as such; it is important for all Liberians to be fully immunized against all childhood preventive diseases.
Making reference to a 2020 report, the LCP boss further stressed the urgent need for increased support towards immunization in the country, emphasizing that immunization is the most cost effective public health intervention that has contributed immensely to preventing diseases that are preventable through vaccination.
She added, “Immunization has reduced the number of deaths from infectious disease and that vaccines also prevent diseases which can impede children’s growth and development as well as allowing people to live longer and healthy.”
Amb. Endee then lauded the MoH through it’s EPI for the initiatives well done as the GAVI for the funding to support the program thereby disclosing that the LCP under her leadership has now mobilized communicators including various representatives from all sectors of the country to help become messengers aimed at ensuring that the MoH achieves its target during the vaccination process.
In separate remarks, Grand Kru former Senator and Chairperson on the Senate Committee on Health, Peter S. Coleman, Chief Imam, Ali Krayee, the Rural Women of Liberia President, Korpor Howard and the Governors Council of Liberia, Musu K. Thompson all welcomed the initiative thereby promising their various institutions and individual support towards the actualization of the immunization community and dialogue engagement.
MoH, Partners Launch Nationwide Vaccination -As New Typhoid Vaccination To Begin February 24
By Bill W. Cooper