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Free Diarrheal Vaccine To Be Launched March 28 

By Elizabeth Enanga Mokake & Victorine Sirri Neba

CameroonPostline.com — The Ministry of Health has introduced a new free vaccine for Rotavirus diarrheal in babies from zero to 11 months.

The vaccine that will protect children from diarrhoea caused by the Rotavirus germ will be launched nationwide on March 28, the Minister of Public Health, Andre Mama Fouda told the press at the Yaounde Djeuga Palace Hotel, March 21. Mama Fouda said the Rotavirus germ is very contagious, has no appropriate drug and can be prevented only through the vaccine.

He said the vaccine which is part of the Expanded Programme on Immunization, PEV, was recommended by the World Health Organisation, WHO, and UNICEF. Refugees from the Central African Republic would not be exempted from the free vaccine campaign, the Minister said.

Meanwhile, the PEV Permanent Secretary, Marie Kobela, said that in sub-Saharan Africa, about 110,155,000 deaths are recorded each year due to the Rotavirus. In Cameroon, she said 50 to 60 deaths are registered everyday, adding that the Rotavirus diarrhoea is manifested through high fever, vomiting, diarrheal discharge (more than three liquid stools a day) and the loss of appetite and weight.

Kobela, however, said Rotavirus diarrhoea could be prevented by exclusively breastfeeding the baby for six months, keeping good food hygienic conditions, washing of hands and the systematic vaccination of all breastfeeding babies with the Rotavirus vaccine. The health expert said the vaccine is administered twice in a lifetime. The first dose is administered when the baby is six weeks old and the second dose at ten weeks. She said babies above twelve months cannot take the vaccine.

Kobela reiterated that the liquid vaccine is administered orally. She said after the baby has been vaccinated against the Rotavirus and it is observed that the child has fever above 39

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