Health authorities in Hwange District are investigating the death of a Grade Seven pupil (12) who died after receiving the new typhoid conjugate vaccine (TCV) recently.
Ethel Tshuma from Village 8 in the Lubangwe area was vaccinated on 1 June and died on 8 June while admitted to St Patrick’s Hospital in Hwange.
The family of the girl, who was a learner at Nyongolo Primary School outside Hwange, suspected she reacted to the jab as her body started swelling after she was vaccinated.
Ethel’s body has been sent to Bulawayo for a post-mortem as health authorities are investigating the issue.
Hwange District Medical Officer Dr Fungayi Mvura said they are waiting for post-mortem results to know the cause of the death. Said Mvura:
We are still waiting for post-mortem results so we can know whether it was a reaction to the vaccine or anything else. For now, we can’t give any details because the body has gone for a post-mortem.
Dr Mvura said there were no other incidents where kids had reacted that were formally reported.
The girl’s aunt Memory Tshuma told Chronicle that Ethel’s arm where she was jabbed started swelling the day she was vaccinated before her legs started swelling as well.
She said the girl lost consciousness and became numb before she died on Tuesday at St Patrick’s Hospital in Hwange where she had been admitted.
Tshuma said Ethel had no other known health condition before receiving the TVC and a cancer vaccine.
TCV helps to prevent typhoid fever, which is a life-threatening infection and outbreaks are increasing in the country.