Tue | Jun 6, 2023

Immunisation drive now on for children in Westmoreland

Published:Thursday | January 27, 2022 | 10:42 AM
Nurse at the Savanna-la-Mar Health Centre, Shirnette McIntosh, administers a vaccine to a child, while Distinguished President of the Kiwanis Club of Westmoreland Capital, Denise Ennis, provides support, during an immunisation drive at the Hatfield Early Childhood Institution in Westmoreland on January 25, 2022 - Contributed photo.

Westmoreland Public Health Services and the Kiwanis Club of Westmoreland Capital on Tuesday coordinated an immunisation drive at the Hatfield Early Childhood Institution in Westmoreland.

The project targeted students from zero to six years old from both the Institution and the wider Hatfield community who had missed their original immunisation dates.

Public Health Nurse at the Savanna-la-Mar Health Centre, Jacqueline Smith, told JIS News that it is important that children within this age group be properly immunised as a preventative measure against childhood diseases.

“So, we are looking at children who should have really received their measles-mumps-rubella [vaccines] (MMRs), booster DPTs and the polio vaccine. If they have missed any of these vaccines, we are here to immunise them,” Smith stated.

“For parents who missed their appointments for their children when younger, we are extending a kind hand by immunising these children as well. So, the turnout so far has been fairly reasonable,” she added.

The immunisation of the children was administered by injection as well as orally.

Smith is making an appeal to the parents of Westmoreland and wider Jamaica to get their children immunised on time, noting that the country is already experiencing the COVID-19 pandemic and does not need another.

“We want to prevent the childhood diseases that are preventable. So, we want to have all those children immunised because we don't want to see an emergence of these diseases that we would have eradicated some time ago, to have them resurfacing,” Smith outlined.

“So, I am strongly encouraging everyone – encourage your loved ones to have their children immunised,” she added.

Charter President of Kiwanis Club of Westmoreland Capital, Julet Burton-Kasantaroeno, said that the project is the brainchild of the group, whose members are passionate about the well-being of children.

She pointed out that in addition to being immunised, parents also received care packages.

“We chose this school because a lot of the students who lack immunisation are attending this school. So, a town crier went out to sensitise people as to what will be happening today,” Burton-Kasantaroeno explained.

She, however, said this is the first phase of the project that is set to continue in March at another location.

- JIS News 

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