North West mothers lament lack of vaccines for babies

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Mothers who use public clinics in the North West are unhappy about the lack of vaccines for babies and toddlers. Several clinics in the province have faced vaccine shortages in recent years.

A clinic in Klerksdorp has had to send babies home without being vaccinated for illnesses such as smallpox, polio and measles.

Klerksdorp clinic is an important healthcare provider for residents in the area. But mothers who needed to immunize their babies were sent home several times without their babies being inoculated. Nurses told them that the critical vaccines are out of stock. Leandra Welgemoed has been to the clinic seven times and her grandchild is still not vaccinated.

“Since birth, she never had any vaccination because every time we went to the clinic they will say to us, sorry they are out of stock we must phone. My frustration is this little girl won’t have any protection now, no vaccination at all.”

Like many who look after babies, Welgemoed fears that a sudden outbreak of German Measles or polio could have a devastating effect on hundreds of unvaccinated babies.

“I feel these babies are really important and they also need vaccines. Not only the people to stop COVID-19 and what about an outbreak of measles or German measles or anything, are we not worried about this because now there is no vaccination at all, we are getting frustrated.”

Health authorities have acknowledged that many clinics across the country are without vaccines and they say they are working on a solution.

Health spokesperson, Tebogo Lekgethwane says, “They are out of stock but there has been engagement with suppliers who are supplying the province to remedy the situation. We know that it is inconveniencing, particularly to the parents.”

Frustrated parents say the supply of vaccines for other diseases should receive the same attention as the priority given to COVID-19 vaccines.

a month ago