Addiah takes her first granddaughter to have her first vaccinations.
Delighted to finally be a grandmother, 59-year-old Addiah took her 5-day-old granddaughter Leyannah to receive her first vaccinations at the official opening of the polio vaccination campaign.
Addiah, a 59-year-old from Mahajanga, was among the first caregivers to arrive at the official polio vaccination campaign launch site for the Boeny region, in Mahajanga I, in the morning of May 16, 2023. Her first granddaughter Leyannah, born on May 12, 2023, was among the children who received the two drops of oral polio vaccine (OPV) from the hand of the Regional Director of Public Health for the Boeny region, located in the west of Madagascar. Leyannah is also the youngest child vaccinated against polio during the ceremony.
Right after the event, Addiah headed to the vaccination teams at the CSI Mahabibo health center, Mahajanga I health district, to line up for routine child immunization, so that Leyannah could receive her BCG vaccine to protect her against tuberculosis.
"I am so happy to be a grand-mother", Addiah declares. "I will make sure my grand-children received their vaccination in time as I did with my children when they were kids so thay they grow up in a good health" she added with lots of love and emotions.
Vaccinating our babies is a priority because health is a precious resource
Little Leyannah's mother had to give birth at home on the night of May 12, 2023, despite having attended all prenatal consultations at Mahabibo hospital during her pregnancy. Fearing insecurity during the night, her family didn't dare take her out in the middle of the night and called in a health worker to come to their home to assist with the birth, which went well.
«The health worker carefully checked Leyannah and her mother's health and told us to take the baby to be vaccinated as soon as possible. Then yesterday May 15, a community mobilizer came to visit us to talk about the polio vaccination campaign and told us that it's quite possible to also receive the BCG vaccine during the official launch," says Aiddah.
"As her mother still has to rest, we agreed that I, her grandmother, would take Leyannah to be vaccinated. With so many diseases around, we need to prioritize the vaccination of our babies, because health is a precious resource," concludes Aiddah.
With the support of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Vaccine Alliance (Gavi) and Rotary, UNICEF is supporting the preparation, implementation and monitoring of the first round of the polio vaccination campaign for children aged 0-59 months from May 16 to 19, 2023 in Madagascar, which is also paired with catch-up vaccination for zero-dose and under-vaccinated children. In addition to procuring and transporting all used vaccines from international sources to all 115 health districts, UNICEF is also supporting advocacy for the involvement of community leaders, the official launch at the national and 23 regional levels, social mobilization of all key stakeholders including the media and schools, as well as community awareness-raising by community mobilizers.