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Measles immunization campaign likely to cost $5m

December 13, 2019 4:51 pm
[Source: Health Ministry]

Two million dollars has been spent in the fight against measles outbreak so far, but the Health Ministry says this figure is expected to increase.

Health Minister, Dr Ifereimi Waqainabete has confirmed to FBC News the government views the situation as an emergency and has mobilized appropriate funding from within the current budget.

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Costs for the vaccination campaign, include transport, overtime pay for health workers and other operational activities – with the final costs likely to be higher.

“Yeah roughly we have gone through $2million already. Easily we have gone through two million. And that is not even counting the support that we’ve had from other government ministries. Other ministries have given their vehicles, their staff and helping us set up places. When we finish all this it will easily be five million dollars.”

Dr Waqainabete adds the cost is secondary to Fijian life and health and the measles immunisation campaign will expand across the country, reaching the farthest corners.

“I’ve also been briefed that the measles vaccinations have been on the planes to the islands. Every day in Fiji there’s about two or three medical evacuations, meaning Fijians who are on a particular island or remote place who get very sick will need to come across as they’re going out to actually get them back – there’s measles vaccine going across ready to vaccinate them. I’ve also been briefed that boats going up to Lomaiviti group and the Lau group next week and we’re on track to try and finish all the vaccinations before Christmas Eve.”

Since the measles outbreak last month, over 200,000 Fijians have been immunised with the campaign activated in the Western and Eastern Divisions today.

The Northern Division will begin immunization on Monday.

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