Immunization: A Child’s Shield from Diseases
It’s Immunization Day and Mothers are Eager to Get their babies vaccinated
Shebedino town of Sidama region, mothers who understand the vitality of vaccines for their babies’ health have lined up early morning at Gebrekiristos Health Centre and AlfaDilla Health Post. They believe in the power of vaccines to protect their babies from various diseases and , empowers them to grow and thrive under the shelter of immunity. Here is how we captured the unwavering determination of some of the mothers and grandmothers for their babies’ safety and future.
Baby Enedeg Solomon is 9 months old. His mother Hiwot Fekadu and his grandmother Zerfe Asknake made sure to bring him to Gebrekiristos Health Centre early in the morning to take the second round of vaccines.
Baby Enedeg took OPV, ROTA PCB, Penta and BCG vaccines that helps to boost his immunity and protect him from various diseases like polio, pneumonia, and diarrhoea. The next appointment is in 28 days and baby Enedeg’s smile and charm can tell the amount of care and attention he has been receiving from his mother and grandmother.
Vaccines ensure that babies have a healthier and brighter tomorrow!
Bizunesh Tsegaye is one of the mothers who brought her beautiful baby Rohobot Tonasa for a vaccine at AlfaDilla health post. Rohobot is 9 months old, and this is her first time taking a vaccine. Bizunesh said she wanted to bring Rohobot earlier, but she was scared as she was concerned about the side effects of vaccines.
I will now make sure to attend Rohobot’s vaccine on schedule as I have taken lessons that vaccines are lifesaving to babies and I will not take a risk on Rohobot’s health, says Bizunesh.
Sister Melkitu Yu’ura is a dedicated Health Extension Worker at AlfaDilla Health Post, and she explains the benefits of vaccines to mothers by also giving them detailed information on the next schedule. As Bizunesh carefully listens to Sister Melkitu’s instructions, she understands that she needs to bring Rohobot on schedule for the next round.
Sister Hana Assefa is a devoted nurse at Gebrekiristos Health Centre. It is now two years since she joined the health centre, and she works tirelessly to attend to babies who come for vaccination every day. After giving a vaccine to a baby, she carefully registers the baby’s details on the vaccination card and explains to the mother or the caregiver to mark the next schedule. She also records and inserts the details of the vaccinated babies in the tracker.
“The amount of happiness I have when I know a baby has attended vaccination on schedule and is protected from various diseases is countless. I do all I can to encourage and train mothers and caretakers to follow up on their babies’ vaccination”, says Hana.
Baby Biniam Berhanu is 45 days old. He is the firstborn to his mother Kasech Seyoum. Kasech brought him together with her mother-in-law Shudare Lademo today for his first vaccine.
“While I was pregnant, I was given a good orientation by health workers at Gebrekiritos Health Centre about the advantages of vaccines in preventing various diseases and that vaccines are lifesaving for babies. Hence, I have been eagerly waiting for this day and knew I wouldn’t let a day pass without getting Beniam vaccinated.
Gebrekiristos Health Centre administers 5 kebeles (sub-districts) and 4 health posts under it. The health centre implements a comprehensive Expanded Programme on Immunization. Over 200 women who are part of the Women Development Army (WDA) support in vaccine defaulter tracing and there is a session monitoring tool. The health centre in general has a well-organized defaulter tracing method both at the health centre and health post levels.