The Ministry of Health has urged members of the public traveling to South Africa and other countries to have valid yellow fever vaccination certificates.
Acting Spokesperson Crispin Moyo said this is because Zambia has been re-classified from a low risk to a minimum risk country by the World Health Organization (WHO).
This is mainly due to Zambia’s geo-location and the fact that she shares borders with countries classified as high risk for yellow fever to the North and West.
He said the re-classification was done in 2006 and the Ministry of Health in response designated and established 34 centers country wide to administer yellow fever vaccinations according to WHO guidelines and stipulations.
Dr Moyo said this in a press statement.
He further clarified that no private institution is on the Ministry of Health list approved to administer yellow fever vaccinations.
Dr Moyo has appealed to would be travellers to visit their provincial or district health offices for information on where these centers are located in their areas saying these offices have been advised to disseminate information on the vaccination centers.
He said vaccinations are not only a benefit to the country for public health reasons but also to the recipient because it confers immunity against that particular disease should one come into contact with the disease causing agent.
Dr Moyo said that it is through such vaccination drives that diseases like small pox were eliminated adding that polio vaccination is still on-going despite the disease being near elimination except in a few countries where cases are still being reported.
Dr Moyo said that travellers should ensure yellow fever vaccination is done 10 days before travel because vaccination becomes valid 10 days after administration.
He warned that obtaining a yellow fever book from the streets is tantamount to forgery and it attracts the interest of the country’s law enforcement agencies.
Dr Moyo has warned all non-designated institutions who are administering yellow fever vaccination without authority to stop the practice adding that the Pharmaceutical Regulatory Authority (PRA) and the Health Professions Council of Zambia (HPCZ) will institute investigations and take necessary actions on such institutions.