MEC for Health Dr Phophi Ramathuba successfully launched the Provincial Global/African Vaccination Week (AVW) which starts from the 24th  to 30th April 2017 at Bela Bela‘s Extention 6 Municipal Community Hall in the Waterberg District on Thursday the 20th April 2017.  It is an annual event celebrated during the last week of April together with World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Immunization Week.

This campaign is aimed at raising awareness about the benefits of immunization and the right to be protected from vaccine preventable diseases.  It is also aimed at promoting the use of vaccines to protect people of all ages.  Parents came in numbers, bringing their little ones to get vaccinated during the launch.  The African Vaccination Week (AVW) presents organizations around the world with an opportunity to spread awareness on the importance of vaccination.  Immunization is one of the most successful and cost-effective public health interventions which currently avert an estimated 2 to 3 million deaths every year.

Samuel Seshwana from Mandela section at Bela Bela is one of the many parents who couldn't afford to deny their children a great opportunity to get vaccinated.  It is parents such as him who make it easy for children to access the Department’s quality health care services.  Seshwana who used a wheelbarrow to carry his children to the Municipal Community Hall was very proud of his decision.  The vaccination drive will be rolled out throughout the province because indeed vaccinations protect everyone, including adults.

MEC Ramathuba called on parents to take a lead in ensuring that children are vaccinated for different diseases.  “This is one of the building blocks towards the increase of the Life Expectancy of the South Africans from 63 years to 70 by 2030.  Everyone has a role to play: parents, health workers, religious leaders and government officials to increase access and availability of vaccinations in local communities” she said.

The MEC also used this opportunity to remind everyone that their health is their responsibility.  “We have pronounced during our 2017/18 Departmental Budget that: “Your Health, Your Responsibility. With vaccination we change the tune to “The Health of your child, Your Responsibility”.

African Vaccination will be celebrated from the 24th to 30th April 2017 under the theme: “Vaccines protect everyone, Get vaccinated!”