Regional News

Special anti-tetanus campaign launched in Balochistan

QUETTA: An anti-tetanus campaign was launched in Quetta district recently. In the six-day special campaign, 634 teams under the supervision of 50 medical officers are taking part. They will cover 50 union councils of the provincial capital.

A similar campaign will begin in Chagai district next week.

In Quetta, the special six-day campaign will continue till Aug 27 during which over 518,000 women aged between 15 and 49 years will be vaccinated.

Quetta Deputy Commissioner retired Major Aurangzeb Badini, while speaking at a press conference, said that during the six-day campaign in Muharram the areas where processions and gatherings taking place would be covered and strategies would be worked out for the remaining areas after the Ashura. He urged the people to take part in the anti-convulsing vaccination campaign in order to protect them from epidemic diseases.

Quetta`s District Health Officer Dr Zaman Jamali said that this is the third immunisation course of the anti-tetanus campaign. The campaign was scheduled to begin in June, but it was delayed due to restrictions in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.Ghulam Sarwar, the health department`s district focal person, said that a team of female social mobilisers has been deployed with each team to make women aware of the benefits of the campaign.

“The death rate among women in Balochistan is higher than in other provinces. Therefore, a special campaign has been launched to boost the immunity of all women aged between 15 and 49,” he added.

The tetanus toxoid vaccination has been recommended for all pregnant women, depending on previous tetanus vaccination exposure, to prevent neonatal mortality from tetanus.

If a pregnant woman has not previously been vaccinated or if her immunisation status is unknown, she should receive two doses of a tetanus toxoid-containing vaccine (TT-CV) one month apart with the second dose. It should be given at least two weeks before the delivery. Two doses protect against tetanus infection for 1-3 years in most people. A third dose is recommended six months after the second dose, which should extend protection to at least five years.

Two further doses for women who are first vaccinated against tetanus during the pregnancy should be given after the third dose, in the two subsequent years or during two subsequent pregnancies. Meanwhile, as many as 56,000 women aged between 15 and 49 years would be vaccinated to get protection from the lethal tetanus disease in Chagai district.

Chagai`s District Health Officer Dr Abdul Ghani Baloch told a press briefing at the Dalbandin Press Club that tetanus was a major health issue for pregnant women caused by bacteria through open wounds.

According to Dr Baloch, every year thousands of women die because of this disease as it directly damages the respiratory system, causing breathing problems.

He suggested a clean environment during child deliveries and proper immunisation for women.

“The six-day immunisation campaign in Chagai district will be started on Monday (today) with the support of the Provincial Health Department in Collaboration of Unicef.”

He further said 90 teams had been formed to achieve the target during the campaign.

District Support Manager of People`s Primary Healthcare Initiative Wahab Baloch, Unicef`s District Health Coordinator Hafeezullah Shahi, District Monitoring Officer Saeed Ahmed and other officials of the health department were present on the occasion.

-MN Report

August 25, 2020

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