Kuwait News

Drop in influenza cases, death rates attributed to vaccination campaign

Kuwait health ministry keen to supply 400,000 doses

KUWAIT CITY, Oct 17: The Ministry of Health (MoH) has embarked on the seasonal winter vaccination campaign to contain the infectious respiratory illnesses (seasonal influenza and pneumococcal pneumonia) which kicked off from the Abdullah Yousef Al-Abdul Al-Hadi Yarmouk Health Center, reports Al- Anba daily. Speaking on the occasion Assistant Undersecretary for Public Health Affairs at the Ministry of Health Dr. Buthaina Al-Mudhaf said this campaign is launched for the fifth year in a row and this year the campaign has its importance due to the special circumstances because of the outbreak and spread of the Covid- 19 pandemic.

An elderly person receives a seasonal flu vaccine at a clinic

She pointed to the positive impact of winter vaccination campaigns, as the number of influenza cases have decreased, its complications and the death rates has have considerably fallen from 1.3% in 2015 to 0.4% in 2019. Dr Buthaina pointed out that the ministry has administered about 150,000 doses of influenza vaccine and about 75,000 pneumonia vaccines, and that the ministry is expecting an increase in the demand for vaccination this year due to the double risk that the ‘Covid-19’ pandemic poses to public health.

For his part, speaking at the same function Spokesman for the ministry, Dr. Abdullah Al-Sanad, said according to the statistics of the World Health Organization, vaccination currently prevents between 2 and 3 million deaths annually, and indicated the deaths from measles at the global level have declined by 80 percent.

Al-Sanad called for making available the vaccinations that protect society from infection with vaccine-preventable diseases such as cervical cancer, cholera, hepatitis B, influenza, measles, meningitis, mumps, whooping cough, pneumonia, polio, rubella, typhoid, and many others. He stated that this campaign targets the causes of the most common infectious winter respiratory diseases such as influenza virus infection, specifically influenza A (H1N1 + H3N2), as well as influenza B and the other most common cause, which is pneumococcal bacteria (pneumococcal).

He went on to say, more than 95 percent of the deaths due to seasonal influenza are among the groups of people who are at risk. Ibrahim Al-Saleh, head of the Preventive Health Department at the Ministry of Health, stressed in a statement to reporters on the sidelines of the launch of the campaign the importance of the citizens and residents taking the initiative to take the vaccinations and pay attention to the procedures and activities of the Ministry of Health during the winter season.

Al-Saleh called on everyone to take the initiative to take vaccinations from the nearest health center. He added, the ministry was keen to supply 400,000 doses, and added, more than 100,000 doses against influenza and 70,000 doses against pneumonia have been distributed to 34 preventive centers in addition to other vaccination sites which fall outside the scope of the Ministry of Health Hospital such as the military establishments and the Oil Sector hospital, provided that the vaccinations take place in those centers during the morning period,’ He also explained of the ministry’s readiness for vaccinations and said there is coordination between the directors of health districts to increase the nursing staff, and provide more rooms for vaccinations in these centers.

Source: Alanbaa

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