NEW ALARM OVER CHILD IMMUNIZATION IN SOLOMONS

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HONIARA, Solomon Islands (SIBC, Mar. 20) – A second plea for help has come from a Solomon Islands health clinic, saying hundreds of infants are unable to get vital vaccines because of supply problems.

Officials in the Babanakira area of South Guadalcanal say newborn babies cannot receive immunization against diseases because the area’s clinic has been unable to store perishable drugs.

In a similar alarm last week, permanent secretary of the Ministry of Health and Medical Services, Dr Dennie Iniakwala, said babies had gone without immunization in the Solomons for lack of vaccines.

He noted that the Japanese Government provided emergency funding of US$90,000 to ease the problem that that it was expected to be the end of the month before the drugs would be available.

Immunization against polio, diphtheria, hepatitis B and measles are normally taken in the baby's first nine months.

The nurse in charge of the Babanakira Clinic, Gordon Lui, says many mothers are extremely concerned about the health of their newborn babies in the absence of important vaccinations.

Lui called on the Guadalcanal Provincial Health Authorities and the National Government to give urgent attention to health services in the area.

He says Babanakira clinic is currently serving nearly three thousand people.

Lui says the area's population has dramatically increased due to the influx of displaced people from Beti and Marubo areas who escaped from aggression.

Lui says the clinic’s refrigerator ran out of gas essential for the cool storage of vaccines.

He says sick people in the area had to travel long distances to receive medical treatment at Tangarare, Fox bay and Lambi clinics .

Lui says traveling expenses are costly and many people who cannot afford it continue to suffer.

 

March 21, 2003

Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corporation: http://www.sibconline.com.sb 

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