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Mother Care Groups Applauded for Enhancing Immunization

Chakwawa Chakwawa - pic by Christopher Sande

Health authorities in Blantyre say enhancement of volunteer community initiatives in propagating health service delivery can assist Malawi to widen the immunization coverage among under five children.

Director of Health and Social Service for Blantyre district Dr Gift Kawalazira told journalists on Friday that for instance Blantyre managed to achieve over 95 percent vaccination of under five children due to the efforts by community health workers and Mother Care Groups.

“We are grateful to MHEN for the support, they have supported us with 30 Mother Care Groups, with about 33 members in each group which is over 900 people.

“And this is an extension arm to the community health workers that we have. The idea is to ensure that there is good adherence in as far as vaccination of the under five children is concerned in the district,” said Dr Kawalazira.

He added that these volunteers act as a bridge between the community health workers or doctors and the people in the communities.

“They help to amplify the messages, when fellow community members hear such messages from them and not just us as health workers, it makes more sense and trust thereby dealing away with any myths associated with vaccines,” he said

Meanwhile, Malawi Health Equity Network, is working with mother Care Groups in nine districts including Blantyre, Lilongwe, Kasungu, Mzimba and Chitipa to promote the uptake of vaccines to ensure that pregnant mothers and under five children are protected from various diseases.

MHEN’ assistant project officer Herbert Chakwawa said their main objective is to increase the immunization coverage.

“MHEN with the financial assistance from Global Alliance Vaccines Immunization through the Ministry of Health, we have established and trained Mother Care Groups.

"We trained them on vaccine immunization, defaulters tracing and advocacy and accountability. Our aim is to raise the immunization coverage,” said Chakwawa.

A member of Nkolesya Mother Care Group, Wezzie Matope promised to continue sensitizing communities to understand the importance of various vaccines to the under five children.

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