Home NewsAfrica ‘Africa Vaccination Week services shield to vaccine-preventable diseases’

‘Africa Vaccination Week services shield to vaccine-preventable diseases’

by Haruna Gimba
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By Iyemah David

Vaccine Network for Disease Control (VNDC) said the Africa Vaccination Week services served as catalyst for intensifying efforts to shield vulnerable populations from vaccine-preventable diseases.

The Founder of VNDC, Mrs Chika Offor, said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday in Abuja.

She said that Nigeria embraced the week-long vaccination campaign as a pivotal occasion to propel its immunisation agenda.

Mrs Offor added that the country capitalised on the initiative to fortify immunisation efforts and amplify the discourse surrounding vaccination.

The Africa Vaccination Week, celebrated annually from April 24 to April 30, marks a significant event established 13 years ago, endorsed by African Union (AU) member states.

It presents a unique opportunity for African countries to campaign for effective immunisation delivery systems.

Led by the World Health Organisation Regional Office for Africa, Africa Vaccination Week is an important event to ensure that vaccination remains high on the political and policy agenda of all countries.

The occasion also highlights other initiatives that integrate routine immunisation into the broader primary healthcare system such as maternal healthcare and nutrition.

Offor, therefore, said the vaccination week would ensure every child received life-saving vaccines.

She added that “central to Nigeria’s strategy is a steadfast commitment to bolstering immunisation services nationwide.

“Through targeted interventions and collaborative partnerships, health authorities are working to overcome barriers to vaccination access and coverage, particularly in underserved communities.

“Key stakeholders, including government agencies, healthcare professionals, civil society organisations and international partners, are actively involved in a multifaceted approach to enhance immunisation services.

“This encompasses expanding vaccination outreach programmes, deploying mobile vaccination units to remote areas, and implementing community-based education and awareness initiatives.”

She said that Nigeria’s participation in the Africa Vaccination Week also served as an opportunity to highlight the significance of vaccination in safeguarding public health.

Since the launch of the Expanded Programme on Immunisation (EPI) 50 years ago, vaccines have saved millions of lives.

Experts suggest that to ensure that the successes of the past 50 years are sustained, the continent must continue to make investments in vaccines and in immunisation programmes.

Every new child deserves life-saving vaccines, regardless of socio-economic status or geographic location.

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