Vaccines for Every Girls and Women: Something that You Need to Know

This past few decades, vaccines help protect human kinds to fight against or eliminate some diseases and achieve such convincing results. Currently, vaccines including into National Immunization Program (NIP) to almost every countries around the globe, Cambodia also included in the list.

Decades ago, the concepts of vaccines and vaccination was really new among Cambodian people as well as healthcare professionals. Most of us used to thought that vaccination is “injection viruses” into our body, thus everyone are so afraid of being vaccinated and put ourselves in risk of getting infected from diseases that we can protected.

Nowadays, while knowledge and understanding of vaccines and vaccination has been improving day by day, everyone are seem not afraid to get themselves vaccinated. Cambodia government and some non-governmental organizations (NGOs) work really hard to introduce new vaccines into National Immunization Programs and recently they successfully introduce measles-rubella vaccine with very good acceptance from the public.

However, there are a lot of things that we don’t actually know about vaccines. Today, I will talk about vaccines that every girls and women “MUST” get themselves vaccinated.

There are some vaccines that every girls and women “HAVE TO” make sure that they already get it. Those vaccines are:

  1. Diphtheria, Tetanus, and Pertussis: This vaccine is a “MUST” get vaccine. There are too kind of this vaccine, DTP and dTp. DTP is for infants and children. while dTp is for adults. Most case, everyone of us already got this vaccine since we were young, but World Health Organization (WHO) recommended that “Everyone should get or booster diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis every 5 to 10 years”. This vaccine is really important for women whose plan to have baby too. Make sure that you get yourself vaccinated against these diseases and make sure that you get yourself booster once in every 5 to 10 years.
  2. Seasonal Flu: No one in this world could escape from flu, at least once a year if you didn’t get yourself vaccinated. Seasonal flu vaccine is for everyone, but it is a “NEED” to women who planned to give birth. They should get vaccination before they pregnant or their baby will faces a lot of problems. Seasonal flu vaccine is available out  there in the market, both public and private. 
  3. Varicella Vaccine: Varicella is a serious and contagious disease, but most of Cambodian people thought in different ways. More than half of Cambodian people thought that, “if you got varicella, it is good for you because you will never get it again.” That’s most valid point, why? Because someone who already get varicella will be immune and will never get it again. But the most important point here, people are compromising the “complications” of varicella. If a pregnancy women at first quarter of her pregnancy, and she gets varicella disease, they her baby would face so many complications, her baby could potentially abortion, abnormal growth etc. It’s just like MMR case. Before you decide to have baby, make sure that you ask your doctors, or physicians for Varicella vaccine. For younger girls, varicella will leave a lot of scars on their body, face or it could even make them blind or dead if it is severe and so many complications which I couldn’t describe here. Make sure that you get your beloved baby girls vaccinated against this forgotten disease.

These four vaccines are very important and every girls and women need to be vaccinated.

Why Cambodia Didn’t Introduce New EPI Vaccines?

Extended Program on Immunization or EPI is the only program that provides FREE vaccines and vaccination to all Cambodian children no matter who it is and no matter where they’re living. This is the only program to help millions of children’s life and it is become a part of country’s policy as well as some politician party’s policy as well.

But how many vaccines are currently available for EPI right now? How many vaccines that currently Cambodian’s EPI has?

Well, that’s a tough question then. Before we judge anyone or any political parties, we should think about the price that our country, our government need to pay for that vaccine. Luckily, currently, for developing country like us, Cambodia, we have a very huge organization which is ready to pay with biggest shared with our government budge for that vaccines. But sure, unless we come up with a very comprehensive proposal in terms of price, cost and benefits.

Currently in the world they have introduced so many vaccines for both pediatric, children and for adolescents as well.

For pediatric or children age under 5 years they have:

  1. Pneumococcal vaccines
  2. Rotavirus vaccines
  3. Measles, Mumps, Rubella and Varicella vaccines
  4. Diphtheria, Pertussis, Tetanus, Polio vaccines
  5. Hepatitis A, and Hepatitis B vaccines
  6. Yellow fever vaccines
  7. Meningococcal vaccines
  8. Hib vaccines

For adolescents they have:

  1. Cervical cancer vaccines
  2. Zoster vaccines
  3. Hepatitis B vaccines

* Some vaccines can be used for both pediatrics and adolescents.

That’s a very long list of vaccines that available in both EPIs and private market. But look into our EPI list? How many vaccines do we have? I bet we can just count it on our fingers then.

Currently our EPI as only:

  1. Diphtheria, Pertussis, Tetanus, Polio, Hepatitis B, Hib vaccines
  2. Measles

Now you can see that our list is just too short if compare to the above list. So, what’s happening here? Why we cannot introduce more vaccines so that every children get protected against diseases that we can protect by vaccines? Why we cannot just spend 10% of our country annual budget for new vaccines?

That’s always a BIG question mark (?) that I always have in my head and I would never understand about the issue as well.

No matter which political party is going to rule the country, but I beg our government, please have a look and have a clear visibility on this please. Unless you cannot provide a very good protection to your next generation people, so don’t expect that they will healthy enough to develop country.

Please Introduce More Vaccines for Cambodian Children, please!!!!