OVER one million people received the second dose of the cholera vaccine in Harare, Epworth and Chitungwiza suburbs as , HealthTimes has learnt.
By Kudakwashe Pembere
The second dose of vaccination began on March 25 ending on April 2, 2019 and those who have been vaccinated are protected from cholera for the next three to five years.
In an interview with HealthTimes, WHO vaccine consultant Dr Marc Poncin said according to their preliminary results they had an administrative coverage of over 90 percent.
“The number of doses administrated in Harare during round 2 of Oral Cholera Vaccine was approximately 1 080 000. This is around 120,000 more doses administrated during round 2 compared to round 1 in October 2018,” he said.
He explained this was better than the first vaccination for people now had knowledge of the vaccine.
“The increase of people vaccinated between round 1 and round 2 shows that people leaving in high density suburbs of greater Harare have understood the added-value of vaccination against cholera after 2 successful campaigns (against cholera in October 2018, and again typhoid in February 2019),” he said.
Epworth and Chitungwiza had the highest number of people vaccinated recording about 350 000 people.
“Earlier this month from 11-18 March 2019, 155,000 people over 1 year were vaccinated in Epworth ( coverage 90%) and 202,000 in selected areas of Chitungwiza (coverage 105%),” he said.
The prisons were not left out given the fact that crowded places are a breeding ground for the disease.
“Besides, 13,000 people including inmates, officers and officers’ defendants have been vaccinated in Harare Prison complexes from 11-18 March 2019,” Dr Poncin said.
Targeted suburbs in Harare were Glenview, Glen Norah, Budiriro, Mbare, Caledonia, Dzivarasekwa, Hatcliffe, Hopley, Kuwadzana, Mabvuku, Mufakose, Tafara and Waterfalls.
On March 25, over 10 000 people were vaccinated in Mabvuku. Health and Child Care Ministry Director for Epidemiology and Disease Control Dr Portia Manangazira yesterday said they were left with about two suburbs.
“We are happy seven suburbs are already done and this just leaves us with just two suburbs. And we are quite happy 13 suburbs in Harare have been vaccinated in the first and second dose of cholera and also Epworth and Chitungwiza. We will continue updating in terms of addressing the determinants of cholera that is water and sanitation,” she said.
She also said there will not be an extension period for this second dose as they turn their attention to Chimanimani and Chipinge which are at high risk of having a cholera epidemic.
In the face of the looming cholera threat in Manicaland following the devastating Cyclone Idai storm which killed hundreds of people, the Health Ministry requested vaccines to prevent a cholera outbreak in the affected areas.
The cholera epidemic claimed over 50 people in the country. with the highest number of deaths recorded in Budiriro and Glen View where the outbreak originated.