Since the beginning of the year, the World Health Organization (WHO) has reported at least 6,500 cases of measles with significant outbreaks observed in 30 countries, including Belguim, France, Serbia, Turkey, and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Spain.
Measles are highly contagious and remains one of the world's biggest causes of death among young children, an estimated 164,000 people died from the virus in 2008.
This disease can be prevented through a safe and effective vaccine. The number of deaths from measles slumped by an estimated 78 per cent between 2000 and 2008.
Youth Health Care (YHC), is organizing a vaccination outreach for the residents of St. Peters and surrounding areas on Wednesday, April 27. Parents and guardians not only from St. Peters, but surrounding environs are encouraged to make use of this opportunity to get their child's vaccination status checked.
The outreach will be held at the St. Peters Community Center from 6.00pm to 8.00pm. Staff will be present to give vaccinations besides checking the vaccination status of children.
All children between four and nine-years of age should have received their second Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) vaccine at four years of age.
The DTPolio vaccination is given when the child is nine-years of age.
Parents are reminded to make sure that their children between the ages of 0 through 17 are up to date with their vaccinations which are necessary in order to reduce the risk of vaccine-preventable diseases.
DTP, MMR and catch-up Hepatitis B vaccines will be given to children who are not up to date at the Wednesday vaccination outreach in St. Peters.
Immunization is a way of protecting children against serious vaccine preventable diseases. Once a person has been fully vaccinated, their bodies can fight those diseases if one comes into contact with them.
On Wednesday, parents should bring along with them their child's vaccination booklet/card.
The outreach event is being organized as part of the annual Vaccination Week of the Americas which kicked off last Saturday and runs through April 30 under the theme, "Vaccinate your Family, Protect Your Community."