The Solomon Islands Ministry of Health and Medical Services (MHMS) and World Health Organization (WHO) has reminded the public that vaccinating your child against measles could save their life.
“Measles is around, and parents need to take the right steps to protect their families”, said Dr. Lester Ross, Permanent Secretary of MHMS.
MHMS is encouraging all parents to have their children aged 6 months to 4 years and 11 months vaccinated against measles.
“A measles vaccine is available in Solomon Islands. It is safe, effective and free,” added Dr. Ross.
“Vaccinations protect children against ‘catching’ an infectious disease, including measles,” explained Dr. Divi Ogaoga, MHMS Director Maternal and Child Health.
Measles is a viral disease that affects mostly children.
It is transmitted through droplets from the nose, mouth or throat of an infected person. Symptoms include high fever, runny nose, red eyes, white spots on the inside of the mouth, and a rash that starts on the face and upper neck and slowly spreads downwards.
Since 1 July 2014, there have been 27 cases of clinical measles reported to the MHMS National Surveillance Unit. In response to this outbreak, MHMS has lowered the minimum vaccination age from 1 year to 6 months to protect more children against measles.
Children are the most vulnerable to this disease because they are more likely to suffer severe complications, such as severe diarrhoea and pneumonia.
“We do not want people to worry; we just want to make sure that people are safe. The best thing parents can do is take their child to a health clinic to be vaccinated against the disease”, said Dr. Audrey Aumua, Officer-in-Charge of the WHO Representative Office in Solomon Islands.
“Parents should also watch for symptoms of measles and speak with their local health care worker if they are concerned”, concluded Dr. Aumua.
MHMS and WHO advise all parents to take their children aged between 6 months and 4 years and 11 months to their local health clinic to be vaccinated against measles.
Source: Press Release, World Health Organization