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Flu Vaccination Recommended For Travellers To South Africa 

By Leocadia Bongben

Public Health Minister, Andre Mama Fouda, has sounded a warning to Cameroonians travelling to South Africa for the World Cup to inoculate against the H1N1 2009 influenza. Mama Fouda made the call recently while presenting the sanitary precautions to be taken for Cameroonians who wish to travel to support the Indomitable Lions.

He said against this backdrop, the medical team of the Indomitable Lions would be reinforced with cardiologist, a general doctor and nurse. He said during the World Health General Assembly that held in Geneva from May 17-21, WHO recommended that all travellers from countries that qualified for the World Cup get vaccinated against the H1N1 2009.

The health concern stems from the fact that winter temperatures in South Africa in June are estimated at 10 degrees when it is extremely cold compared to 20-30 degrees in Cameroon.
Besides, South Africa is a malaria endemic country and where the H1N1 pandemic is said to be alarming.

In February 2010, 17,249 cases were identified in 34 countries in Africa, 12,640 about 73 percent of them in South Africa. Of the 167 deaths from the H1N1 2009 registered in the African region, 93 were in South Africa.

Mama Fouda cautioned that travellers should take along a kit of anti-malaria treatment and get vaccinated against the H1N1 2009 especially for persons with lung problems, hepatitis, HIV/AIDS patients, pregnant women and children less than 15 years.

1000 does of the vaccine he disclosed have been bought and are already at Centre Pasteur in Yaounde and the International Vaccination Centre in Douala where travellers can be vaccinated at a subsidised cost of FCFA 4000. The Post learnt that the vaccine proposed to Cameroonians is inoffensive with slight side effects.

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