Zimbabwe is expected to start a mass typhoid vaccination campaign today in response to the disease outbreak that took place in Harare
The vaccination campaign using Typhoid Conjugate Vaccine (TCV), will be targeting 325 000 Harare residents living in nine high-density suburbs including Mbare, Budiriro, Glen View, Glen Norah, Kuwadzana, Dzivarasekwa, Hopley and Hatcliff according to the Health and Child Care Minister Obadiah Moyo in a press conference in Zimbabwe’s capital on Friday last week.
“We noted with concern that typhoid cases in Harare have been on the increase, with the peak reached in December 2018,” Moyo said. “In order to prevent further spread of typhoid, we have decided to introduce the typhoid conjugate vaccine, (TCV) in high-risk areas, while at the same time promoting safe water provision, sanitation and good hygiene.”
Typhoid fever is endemic in Harare with seasonal outbreaks every year since 2010 according to the Health Ministry.
The vaccination campaign will target people aged 6 months to 45 years in Mbare. A suburb which recorded the highest number of typhoid cases of over 1 700 among both children and adults in the 2017/2018 outbreak.
Other suburbs including Mufakose, Budiriro, Glen View, Hatcliff, Kuwadzana, Hopley, Glen Norah, and Dzivarasekwa the target age will be 6 months to 15 years.
World Health Organisation Country Representative, Dr Alex Gasasira said,”The new typhoid conjugate vaccines, unlike other typhoid vaccines, unlike other typhoid vaccines, can be administered to young children and have long-lasting protection.”
“They (TVC) have been used successfully in outbreak situations in India and Pakistan. Zimbabwe is the first country in Africa to benefit from mass typhoid vaccination that has been proven safe and effective.”
Typhoid fever is treated by with antibiotics at health facilities, however, a number of the disease patients in Harare had developed resistance to the recommended antimicrobial treatments.
“The introduction of the typhoid vaccine will help reduce the number of cases in the city and reduce the spread of resistant typhoid strains,” City of Harare Director, Health Services, Dr Clemence Duri said.