Limpopo Health department working to address vaccine shortage for babies: MEC

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Limpopo Health MEC Phophi Ramathuba says they are working hard to address shortages of vaccines for babies, especially at clinics.

Some mothers were recently turned back from clinics due to lack of vaccines. The department has indicated that the challenge was with the supplier.

Ramathuba spoke to SABC News during her visit to Voortrekker Hospital in Mokopane where she welcomed New Year’s Day babies.

“They make sure that they manage the stock within the clinics and the hospital and make sure that they rotate across the board. So when you don’t have a polio vaccine for instance here, she will be able to look at the clinic because most of the time out priorities are at the clinics and then they will be able to give them here. It’s not an ideal situation, but we improvise to make sure that there is no child that will go without vaccination because vaccination is cheaper. Vaccination will prevent our children from getting sick or from being admitted in future,” says Ramathuba.

Meanwhile, Gauteng MEC for Health Bandile Masuku has emphasised the importance of breastfeeding, particularly in the first six months of infancy.

Welcoming the province’s New Year babies, Masuku commended healthcare professionals for working tirelessly throughout the year.

Over 200 babies were born in Gauteng public health facilities.

“The tertiary, regional and district hospitals delivered 118 babies and this is a combined figure. The community health centres delivered 56. The academic hospitals delivered 39 babies, mostly from Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital with 25 babies that were born there. So far, the number of girls that were born are 188 and the boys are coming in at 95,” says Masuku’s Spokesperson Kwara Kekana.