This year’s theme, Protected together: Vaccines work!, calls for greater collective action on immunization in the WHO African Region, emphasizing the contribution that everyone can make in this effort. At the individual level, the campaign will spotlight vaccine heroes from across the continent – from parents and community leaders to health workers and trailblazers – who already have an inspiring and integral role in using the power of vaccines to save lives.
At the national and regional levels, African Vaccination Week calls on governments, parliamentarians and civil society to keep immunization high on their political agendas and to translate laudable political commitments, such as the Addis Declaration on Immunization and its 10 commitments, into tangible action.
Immunization as a pathway to Universal Health Coverage
Achieving Universal Health Coverage (UHC) means that all people, no matter their socioeconomic status, can access and afford quality health services. Strong immunization programmes are key to realizing this goal because they provide communities with the world’s most cost-effective public health tool and bring populations in contact with health systems, where they can access other basic services. This African Vaccination Week, stakeholders at all levels must recognize immunization’s role in creating resilient and equitable health systems to achieve UHC and to give all children a healthy shot at life.
Immunization in Africa: Quick facts
- Vaccine-preventable diseases still kill more than half a million children younger than 5 every year in Africa – representing approximately 56% of global deaths.
- One in five children in Africa still do not receive all the necessary and basic vaccines.
- Impressive strides are being made to combat diseases, such as measles, meningitis, maternal and neonatal tetanus and polio.
- Four vaccine-preventable diseases – rotavirus, pneumococcal diseases, measles and rubella – collectively cost the African continent US$13 billion annually due to morbidity and mortality.
- Every dollar invested in vaccines in Africa returns approximately US$41 in economic and social benefits.
DTP3 coverage in the WHO African Region
The overall immunization coverage in a country is measured as the proportion of infants who have received their third dose of the diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis-containing vaccine (DTP3).
- 20 countries have achieved 90% national vaccination coverage – And The Gambia is one of them!
- 14 countries are on the cusp of reaching the 90% mark
- 13 countries are below 80%
We all have a role to play in making #VaccinesWork for everyone, everywhere, so make your voice count this #AVW2019.
Join the campaign
#AVW2019 #VaccinesWork #ProtectedTogether #HealthForAll #UHC