JIS News

Dr. Kwak Tint, Medical Officer of Health for Westmoreland, has warned parents and guardians to ensure that their children were fully immunized or face prosecution under the public health laws.
Dr. Tint noted that parents, because of their lack of compliance, could leave their children susceptible to serious diseases such as polio, measles, mumps, diphtheria and rubella, which, under the law, constituted child abuse. “The Ministry of Health has outlined a draft programme to remind caregivers that as parents, they are responsible to have their children immunized, and if in two weeks after the notice they fail to do this, then they can be charged under the immunization law of the Public Health Act,” he said.
“We don’t want to do this but in the interest of the children and for the sake of the community and the country, we appeal to the parents that within that specified time, they ensure that the children are protected by immunization, because all children have the right to be immunized”, he added.
Dr. Tint told JIS News, that over the years, there has been a steady decline in immunization coverage in the parish, and the health department was pushing for 90 per cent to 95 per cent compliance this year.
“Last year, we had a coverage of about 78.8 per cent for polio, 79.5 per cent for diphtheria and about 80 per cent for measles, mumps and rubella. This year, we want to reach as many of the children as possible and cover up to 95 per cent in all these areas. We hope to go into all the health centres, post natal and child health clinics and by the use of various outreach efforts and the assistance of parents, we should be successful in achieving the target,” he told JIS News.
He called on parents to do their part to ensure that the programme was successful and urged the councillors to use their influence to encourage every guardian to help secure their children’s future, by ensuring that they get immunized.

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