Before the introduction of vaccination programmes, diseases such as measles, mumps and whooping cough killed thousands of children each year. Today, however, immunisation remains one of the most effective means of protecting yourself, your family and the health of future generations. Indeed, the most pertinent argument for adopting immunisation is that many of the vaccination-preventable diseases have been eradicated and deaths from these diseases have become extremely rare. The flipside of this, however, is that when parents choose not to vaccinate their children, outbreaks of preventable diseases threaten the lives of those who are most vulnerable and even those who choose to vaccinate.
Vaccination uses the body’s natural defense mechanism, called the immune response, to build up resistance against specific viral infections. When a person comes into contact with that disease in the future, their immune system will rapidly respond to prevent an outbreak of that disease. Vaccination not only safeguards one child’s health; it also reduces the chances of passing on that disease to another child, especially to young babies who cannot be fully vaccinated. And when levels of immunisation in a community are high the risk of certain contagious diseases is significantly lowered. This phenomenon – known as ‘herd immunity’ – has saved countless lives.
Travel vaccinations: don’t leave home without it…
You’ve sorted out your Forex, your housesitters and your bags are packed. But have you spared a thought as to whether or not you need travel vaccine advice and services? Whether it’s a leisure or business trip, travellers can be exposed to a range of risks from a mosquito bite to a car accident. Because destination-specific knowledge is crucial to prevent and minimise these risks, consulting a travel clinic prior to your trip is often preferable to visiting your local doctor, as a clinic will have access to the most current travel vaccination information.
The Manor Medical Travel Clinic provides a full range of services for both holiday makers and corporate travellers. The clinic is fully accredited for all vaccines required by the Department of Health, has a dispensing licence and is a registered member of The South African Society of Travel Medicine (SASTM). We offer travel health advisory services, pre-travel health assessments, yellow fever certificates, and all travel-related vaccinations and inoculations. So next time you plan a trip, make sure that the first item on your itinerary is our all-embracing travel clinic.
Choosing to not go viral
With winter around the corner, we’re all a lot more susceptible to getting sick. Whilst many of us confuse flu with a simple head cold, flu is actually a serious disease that can lead to hospitalisation and sometimes even death. Complications from flu can be serious and include pneumonia and deterioration of existing heart conditions. This is why the flu vaccine is so crucial for those vulnerable segments of the population, such as the elderly and those who are at risk for flu complications.
So how does the vaccine protect against the various flu strains? With every season being different, the seasonal flu vaccine essentially protects against those viruses that according to research, will occur most commonly during the upcoming season. Don’t take a risk this winter; ensure that you and your family are vaccinated before the flu season sets in.
Protecting future generations: vaccinating against cervical cancer
Cervical cancer is a leading cause of death for women in developing countries. Very often, it is caused by the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) which is a common sexually transmitted infection. Whilst most high-risk HPV infections do not cause cancer, persisten infections can lead to cell changes that, if untreated, may progress to cancer.
So can HPV infections be prevented?
Indeed they can. HPV vaccination can significantly reduce the risk of infection by the HPV types targeted by the vaccine. Indeed, the Health Department recommends vaccinating as early as grade 4 and school health teams are currently vaccinating girls in the country’s poorest 80% of public schools against HPV. If you’re concerned about your daughter’s future health, then we urge you to speak to one of our many experts who will listen to your concerns and gently guide you through the HPV vaccine process.Published on March 29, 2017