SAGAING DIVISION – Locals reported that it is difficult to vaccinate children or acquire vaccines in Katha District, Sagaing Division.
A CDM healthcare staff from Indaw Township said that it became difficult to acquire vaccines due to the regional instability following the 2021 military coup.
“The vaccines are imported from abroad and there are required storage conditions along the way, but as our region is unstable and we cannot meet those conditions, it is difficult for the vaccines to reach us,” explained the above staff.
She continued that they have also submitted to the National Unity Government (NUG) Ministry of Health In order for the children to receive vaccinations and that they are working to receive the vaccines.
“We are working for the children. Even if we can’t vaccinate then now, we can vaccinate them for three consecutive months like we do in the hilly regions. Once the region is stable and things are okay, we will be able to vaccinate them,” continued the above CDM staff.
A civilian from Tigyaing Township also shared that his child has not received any vaccine shots as there is no place offering vaccines.
Some children from Banmauk, Katha and Indaw reportedly travel to Mohnyin in Kachin State that is under junta control to get vaccinated. “People who are able to travel to Mohnyin go there. Those who cannot travel just stay here,” said a resident.
Children are required to receive BCG vaccine shortly after birth; the vaccines for polio and diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, Hib and Hepatitis B (DTwP-HepB-Hib vaccine) at two, four and six months; vaccines for measles-rubella and Japanese Encephalitis at nine months; and the vaccines for measles-rubella and DTwP-HepB-Hib vaccine again at one and a half year of age.
Those vaccines have to be stored between +2°C and +8°C and could lose efficacy if the temperature is not maintained during the transportation.
After the military coup, the regional instability in upper Sagaing Division has made it difficult for the children to receive vaccinations.