By Olimatou Coker
Expanded Programme Immunisation (EPI) on Wednesday briefed the members of press about Africa vaccination week held at the central medical store in Kotu.
Speaking to journalists on the theme “vaccination is shared responsibility” Dawda Sowe, manager of EPI, said immunisation is widely recognised as one of the most successful and cost-effective to global health interventions, saving up to three million lives every year.
Mr Sowe opined that the reason of coming together is just to refresh “ourselves and to discuss what immunisation is all about and what it does while referring to the theme of the programe as an example.
According to him, most of these immunisations are at various hospitals, but if the children are not taken to the hospital for vaccination it becomes useless and diseases become rampant in the country.
“This is the reason why the general public needs to know what this immunisations are used for and the kind of diseases they cure,” he said, adding that for the past 30 years they have not received any case on yellow fever and the vaccination is done free of charge in The Gambia irrespective of nationality .
He advised parents to frequently take their babies to hospital for immunisation in order to avoid deficiencies in their babies.
For his part, Ousman Bah, UTG student association of public and environmental health, said in The Gambia “we have a comprehensive RCH package which includes weighing, immunisation, antenatal care and outpatient services.
“Since the late 1990s, immunisation coverage in the Gambia continued to remain relatively high. However, the 2013 revealed that 76% of children from 12 -23 months of age in the country received all of the recommended vaccinations. The proportion of children who were fully immunized was higher in rural areas 84% than in the urban centers 67%. This trend is clearly unsatisfactory and indicates a major shortfall in the drive to meeting the national target of 95% for coverage.”