The Ministry of Health and Sanitation Child Health/Expanded Programme on Immunization with support from the World Health Organisation has ended two days training on the introduction of Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine into the Routine EPI services in Sierra Leone 2011. The 121 Participants were the Peripheral Health Unit (PHU) staff in Kenema District.
In his statement the District Medical Officer Dr. Jibao Sandi thanked participants for attending the workshop which he said is a sign to show that they are always ready to get new ideas to serve the nation.
He explained that Pneumococcal disease is the name given to a group of diseases caused by a bacterium called Streptococcus pneumoniae, (also known as pneumococcus).
Dr. Jibao also said the World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that over 800,000 children under 5 years of age die from pneumococcal diseases each year, and that most at risk population include, those less than 2 years of age especially in developing countries.
He further explained that Pneumococcal related diseases constitute an important public health problem in Sierra Leone. Local data and sub-regional evidences indicate that pneumonia is highly endemic and is a major concern for the Ministry of Health and Sanitation in the country.
In his statement the national supervisor from child health / EPI programme Mustapha Alpha said the vaccine protects against severe forms of pneumococcal disease, such as meningitis and pneumonia.
The District Operations Officer Kenema Foday Abdulai said the distribution of the vaccine is to start soon and that everything will finish within a week.
By Saffa Moriba