Global health organisation launches ‘African Vaccination Week’

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The African Vaccination Week (AVW) has been launched in Lusaka, Zambia by the World Health Organisation (WHO)

The event, themed ‘’Vaccination, a gift for life’’ was launched on Thursday, April 23, 2015.

The launch marks the commencement of  a week-long immunisation activities from April 24 to April 30 across all 47 countries in the WHO African Region.

“Immunisation is one of the most cost-effective public health interventions but many children and adults still do not have access to many life-saving vaccines,” WHO said.

“It is estimated that about three million children under the age of five years die each year in the African Region and a significant number of these deaths could be prevented by receiving immunisation.”

The global health organisation said the AVW campaign will increase demand for other lifesaving interventions targeted at women under five.

“Countries and stakeholders must raise the awareness of vaccine-preventable diseases, address barriers to vaccination, and make sustained investments to strengthen health systems and achieve universal immunization by 2020,’’ WHO said.

It added, “Measles, polio, whooping cough, tetanus, diphtheria, meningitis, yellow fever, hepatitis B, tuberculosis, pneumonia and cervical cancer caused by human papillomavirus are also preventable diseases through vaccination.

“It is therefore important for parents to present their children, including adolescents for all routine vaccination schedules.”

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