The KwaZulu-Natal health department on Tuesday said it had immunised over a million children against measles and polio in one week.
"The department has pleasure to announce that since the start of the measles and polio campaign, 1,468,338 children were immunised in one week," said health MEC Dr Sbongiseni Dhlomo.
The department had immunised 429,642 children between the ages of six and 59-months and 601,844 children between five and 14-years against measles.
The other 436, 852 children had been immunised against polio.
Saved from suffering
"Immunisation brings hope to thousands of infants, children and teenagers who are saved through immunisation and the widespread suffering, sickness and socio-economic disruption that are avoided," said Dhlomo.
He said vaccines protected against disease by inducing immunity.
"Immunisation is considered to be one of the most cost-effective health interventions because it prevents diseases which are expensive to treat," he said.
He said immunisation had eradicated smallpox and poliomyelitis from most parts of the country.
Thousands of deaths averted
"It is estimated that over thousands of deaths are averted through immunisation every year."
He said his department's target was to immunise 3,1 million children. - (Sapa, April 2010)