14 Jun 2018

Fiji meningitis immunisation programme targets at-risk kids

7:30 pm on 14 June 2018

Fiji's Ministry of Health says it has immunised 80,000 children in the past four weeks to protect them from meningitis.

The Ministry has been visiting schools in Ra and the Central Division to vaccinate all children aged between one and nineteen living in the worst affected areas of Fiji.

The Unicef and the WHO are assisting the ministry to deliver the programme which will run until the end of June.

Free immunisations are being offered at kindergartens, schools and health centres.

Local media reported at least five deaths from meningitis so far this year, including one in recent days, and an estimated 60 cases in the first four months of 2018.

The ministry hasn't confirmed the number of cases since the end of April, but is urging all parents to have their children vaccinated.

The symptoms of meningitis include fever, vomiting, headaches and a stiff neck, with seizures and drowsiness commonly seen in babies and small children.