Discovery helps safeguard children’s health through Immunise SA
Vaccines may be free of charge at South Africa’s local clinics and community health centers, but many babies and children remain unvaccinated - leaving them vulnerable to diseases such as measles. This is why - in support of the National Department of Health’s goal of eradicating preventable childhood diseases - Discovery launched Immunise SA, a two-year, R9m programme to improve the delivery of childhood vaccinations, in conjunction with UNICEF.
Initial focus areas for the rollout of Immunise SA include districts where children are least likely to be fully immunised - in the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal, provinces that have recognised their gaps in providing full immunisation.
Immunise SA is enhancing government’s endeavour to reach all newborns to prevent outbreaks of preventable disease.
Dr Penny Tlhabi, Head of Public Affairs at Discovery said, ‘Through our partnership with UNICEF, we are committed to supporting the National Department of Health to improve access to immunisation. In this way, we aim to help strengthen healthcare in South Africa, especially in critical areas of need.”
Immunisation is the most effective measure against serious diseases in childhood and prevents an estimated 2.5 million child deaths globally each year. Diseases under control, including polio and measles, could return in epidemic or pandemic proportions if not controlled carefully.