Zimbabwe reaches 95 percent childhood immunization rate

Zimbabwe has reached its goal rate of vaccinating 95 percent of children throughout the country against polio and measles, according to a health official.

Portia Manangazira, the health and child welfare director of epidemiology and disease control, said that objectives were met for polio vaccination, measles vaccination and vitamin A supplementation, Xinhua reports.

"Preliminary results shows that 102 percent of children from nine to 69 months were vaccinated for measles, 112 percent of children from zero to 59 months were vaccinated for polio while 95 percent of children between the age of six and 59 months were supplemented with vitamin A," Manangazira said, according to New Ziana.

Manangazira credited the accomplishment to increased publicity and proper planning of the program. Vaccines and supplies were distributed far ahead of implementation with funds that were given to provinces on time.

Manangazira said that the coverage data for the campaign was unofficial and required validation from a revisit to the target population.

The campaign, which targeted million children in the zero to 59 months age group, was part of the Zimbabwe Expanded Program on Immunization.

In 2010, there were at least 8,000 cases of measles and more than 500 deaths during an outbreak. Statistics show that each day in Zimbabwe, approximately 100 children die of diseases that are largely preventable.