New vaccines to save babies in Eastern Cape

Two new vaccines will be launched in Ukhahlamba in the Eastern Cape following a recent outbreak of diarrhoea in babies, Health Minister Manto Tshabalala-Msimang said yesterday.

Two new vaccines will be launched in Ukhahlamba in the Eastern Cape following a recent outbreak of diarrhoea in babies, Health Minister Manto Tshabalala-Msimang said yesterday.

A vaccine to prevent viral pneumonia in children, and another to prevent viral diarrhoea would be launched, she told a donor consultation meeting near Johannesburg.

These additions to the department's immunisation programme would be launched as soon as the vaccines were sourced.

Tshabalala-Msimang said a recent investigation into the high number of baby deaths in Ukhahlamba showed that there were several problems.

Earlier this year 78 babies died from severe malnutrition, kwashiorkor, pneumonia, poor sanitation and marasmus.

The minister said there were problems in obtaining clean water and sanitation.

"The area is very poor, food [is in short supply] and a number of health system issues need to be strengthened."

She said the World Health Organisation had been asked to step in and help . - Sapa

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