Monya­mane launches new po­lio vac­cine

Lesotho Times - - News - Lim­pho Sello

who al­legedly im­preg­nated the girl last Novem­ber.

“We heard that af­ter this un­for­tu­nate in­ci­dent of the then 17-yearold girl stu­dent be­ing im­preg­nated by her teacher, the girl’s fam­ily held a meet­ing with him and reached an am­i­ca­ble agree­ment that in­volved mon­e­tary com­pen­sa­tion.

“this was done to save the teacher and the stu­dent from em­bar­rass­ment.

“this was also done to save the teacher’s mar­riage and job be­cause he could have been fired and banned from teach­ing if the is­sue had been made known to the school man­age­ment,” one staff mem­ber said.

How­ever, the school man­age­ment even­tu­ally heard about the is­sue and this, ac­cord­ing to the staff mem­bers, an­gered the teacher who ac­cused the girl of “spread­ing” the in­for­ma­tion, thereby com­pro­mis­ing his job and mar­riage. He was said THE Min­istry of Health teamed up with World Health Or­gan­i­sa­tion (WHO) and the United Na­tions Chil­dren’s Fund (UNICEF) to launch the In­ac­ti­vated Po­liomyeli­tis Vac­cine (IPV) and chil­dren’s health book­let at Maluba-lube in Mokhot­long on Mon­day.

Ad­dress­ing the launch, Health Min­is­ter Dr Molotsi Monya­mane said the IPV would sup­ple­ment the oral po­lio vac­cine (OPV) to pre­vent po­lio and help im­prove chil­dren’s health. He added the health book­let listed all vac­ci­na­tions chil­dren are sup­posed to re­ceive in­clud­ing IPV and oth­ers that are not avail­able in the country.

He added that the new health book­let was dif­fer­ent from the nor­mal chil­dren book­lets in that boys would have a dif­fer­ent one from girls. to have threat­ened the girl over the phone.

“the same week the girl died, the in­for­ma­tion about their al­leged re­la­tion­ship which led to the preg­nancy was trend­ing on Face­book.

“the school board had al­ready started in­ves­ti­gat­ing the is­sue and the teacher was alerted about it,” said an­other staff mem­ber.

“the girl had even re­ported to her par­ents that the teacher threat­ened her, ac­cus­ing her of spread­ing in­for­ma­tion about their re­la­tion­ship and preg­nancy,” an­other teacher added.

Re­peated ef­forts to get in touch with the girl’s par­ents for com­ment were fruit­less yes­ter­day while the ac­cused teacher’s cell­phone was con­tin­u­ally on voice­mail.

Mean­while, po­lice spokesper­son Clif­ford Molefe yes­ter­day con­firmed the teacher’s ar­rest but said he had been re­leased on Mon­day pend­ing fur­ther in­ves­ti­ga­tions.

“IPV is a sup­ple­ment to the OPV drops that pre­vent po­lio in chil­dren. the IPV also pre­vents po­lio in chil­dren and it will help their health. Chil­dren will be in­jected on the thigh when they reach 14 weeks,” Dr Monya­mane said.

“Le­sotho is one of the de­vel­op­ing coun­tries abid­ing by WHO guide­lines stip­u­lat­ing that all na­tions must erad­i­cate po­lio by 2018. For this rea­son we are work­ing hard to fight dis­abil­ity and child mor­tal­ity caused by this dan­ger­ous dis­ease which can be pre­vented by im­mu­ni­sa­tion. No child should be af­fected by this dan­ger­ous dis­ease which can eas­ily be pre­vented

“Ma­put­soe po­lice ar­rested a 31-year-old man fol­low­ing the death of an 18-year-old girl who was re­port­edly preg­nant. We are told the man is a teacher.

“He was re­leased yes­ter­day pend­ing more in­ves­ti­ga­tions. He will only ap­pear in court when the in­ves­ti­ga­tions have been fi­nalised,” Su­per­in­ten­dent Molefe said on tues­day.

St Boni­face High School Prin­ci­pal Alina Mo­hapi also con­firmed the ar­rest and said de­tails could only be pro­vided by the Leribe Se­nior Ed­u­ca­tion Of­fi­cer, Sekhot­seng AdamMo­lapo.

“I can only con­firm that one of our teach­ers was ar­rested on Fri­day. If you need de­tails, I can re­fer you to the Leribe Se­nior Ed­u­ca­tion Of­fi­cer be­cause I am un­der her su­per­vi­sion,” Ms Mo­hapi said.

For her part, Ms Adam-mo­lapo on Tues­day con­firmed re­ceiv­ing “a by vac­cines which are avail­able for free at health cen­tres around the country.”

He said that all chil­dren aged five and be­low had a right to be im­mu­nised and urged par­ents not to wait un­til it was too late to pre­vent the dis­ease.

For her part, WHO Of­fi­cer-in-charge Dr Su­san tembo said although the po­lio dis­ease gen­er­ally af­fected chil­dren un­der the age of five, it could also af­fect adults.

She also said it was at the 41st World Health Assem­bly held in 1988 where the call to erad­i­cate po­lio by 2000 was first made.

“At the time the po­lio dis­ease was en­demic re­port about one male teacher from St Boni­face High School who was ar­rested by the po­lice for al­legedly killing a for­mer school­girl. the in­for­ma­tion we have is that the teacher is sus­pected to have been in love with the girl and later im­preg­nated her.”

“As a min­istry, we can­not fo­cus on the is­sue of the al­leged mur­der be­cause that is a crim­i­nal case to be han­dled by the po­lice.

“Ours, to­gether with the school man­age­ment, is to in­ves­ti­gate the is­sue of a love af­fair and preg­nancy of a school­girl in­volv­ing her teacher.

“this is in com­plete vi­o­la­tion of the law gov­ern­ing the con­duct of teach­ers. the board will meet and if it is con­vinced that the teacher fell in love with the girl, there will be no choice but to fire him.”

Con­tacted late yes­ter­day for any de­vel­op­ments to the story, Ms Adam-mo­lapo said she had not yet been in­formed about the de­ci­sion taken by the school board af­ter it met in the morn­ing to dis­cuss the case.

Ms Mo­hapi was not avail­able on her mo­bile phone and sources said she left the school premises im­me­di­ately af­ter the board meet­ing.

How­ever, a re­li­able source at the school con­firmed the sus­pen­sion. in 125 coun­tries with over 350 000 cases be­ing re­ported an­nu­ally,” Dr tembo said.

Dr tembo said she had been in­formed that the last case in Le­sotho was de­tected in 1984 and praised the country for main­tain­ing its vig­i­lance through im­mu­ni­sa­tion pro­grammes to en­sure no new cases were recorded.

“WHO ap­plauds the Min­is­ter of Health and his team for par­tic­i­pat­ing in the en­dorse­ment of World Health Assem­bly res­o­lu­tion on erad­i­cat­ing po­lio. the in­tro­duc­tion of IPV is a great achieve­ment for Le­sotho as the country is among the few in the East­ern and South­ern African re­gion to in­tro­duce the vac­cine in 2016.”

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