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Zimbabwe Health Authorities Upbeat as National Immunization Campaign Closes


Parliamentary health committee member and Kwekwe Central legislator Blessing Chebundo said that although the response by parents was very strong, there may be more than five million children in the country who need protection

Zimbabwean health authorities were upbeat on Wednesday as they wrapped up a 10-day national child immunization program with 3.5 million kids of a targeted 5 million protected against measles and other diseases as of Sunday.

Parliamentary health committee member and Kwekwe Central legislator Blessing Chebundo told VOA Studio 7 reporter Patience Rusere that although the response by parents was very strong, there may be more than five million children in the country who need protection against such diseases, pointing to the need for further action.

Now that the immunization campaign is over, health experts said parents should watch out for mild side effects of the injections. Johannesburg based physician Joshua Sibanda told VOA Studio 7 reporter Brenda Moyo that these can include sores at the point of injection and fever-like symptoms.

The European Union-funded immunization campaign was launched with the cooperation of UNICEF and the World Health Organization to stop measles outbreaks which had claimed nearly 400 lives since late 2009. Prevention of the disease was complicated by objections to vaccination by so-called apostolic faith sects in the country.

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