The Ministry of Health and Social Welfare (MHSW) with support from the Gavi-vaccine Alliance will commence a nationwide distribution of free typhoid vaccine for children under the ages of 9 months to 15 years from February 24 to 26, 2021.
The Vaccine Alliance is a public–private global health partnership with the goal of increasing access to immunisation in poor countries.
According to Ministry of Health sources, Typhiod is empidemic in Liberia that mostly affects children. Alhough it sometimes affects adults, MOH officials say children are at a high risk of contracting the disease. Typoid is a disases that is contracted from poor hygiene practices including public defecation and wastes in the open.
Some neighborhoods do not have private or public toilects and dumptsite. People openly defecate and throw their wastes in the same environment in which they live, and flies drawn by the filths take bacteria along with them and leave it in food that are left uncovered. when eaten, the consumers fall sick of typoid. Children who play in these environment come in contact with the flies and bacteria released in food thus making them prone to illness.
The head of the distribution team, Lahannah Ville-Jawara, said the vaccine will be given in special places in the communities and at clinics or hospitals, and it is free of charge.
she said because typoid is one of the illnesses that is rapidly affected people especially children, the ministry saw the need to apply to their partners to have the vaccine in Liberia. We are quiet aware that people will resist due to misinformation and myths; therefore, they have in turn developed radio messages and jingles so that parents and guardians can be able to send their children for the vaccine.
“if we look around because of the consistent polio vaccination, we are seeing the impact on the country. Parents should send their kids for the vaccine,” Jawara adds.
According to her, they have visited the Liberia Medical and Dental Council (LMDC), the Crusaders for Peace and the traditional leaders. “Yesterday we visited the LMDC, the Crusaders for Peace and our traditional people so that they can be able to help in the awareness process”.
Lasannah noted that the vaccine will help to decrease the number of typoid patients in the country. Therefore, people should join the campaign by bringing their children for the vaccine. “Everyday children are affected by typiod, so, now that we have the vaccine people should take advantage of it” Jawara pleaded.