This, according to OAFALA, will improve child health outcomes as WHO AFRO launches the sixth African Vaccination Week (AVW).
The World Health Organization member states agreed with the Global Vaccine Action Plan (GVAP) to reach 90% coverage of DTP3 by 2020 and at least 80% vaccination coverage in every district.
However, according to the WHO five countries out of six with a DTP3 coverage rate below 50% are located in Africa.
Globally 1.5 million under five children still lose their lives annually to diseases that could be prevented by vaccines. This is unacceptable. We need collectively, to prioritize immunization as a key intervention to reduce child mortality.
In Malawi, one in five under five children still lack access to all the necessary and basic vaccinations. Although some of the districts are already reaching 90% of the children with the required three doses of Pentavalent, polio and PCV 13 vaccines, however, some districts are still struggling with low immunization rates.
“We must accelerate national immunization commitments to protect our children against vaccine-preventable diseases. This will enable them to live a productive life that will contribute to the development of our nation,” said D. Gertrude Mutharika, Malawi’s First Lady.
This year Malawi alongside other African Countries is commemorating the African Vaccination week from 24 to 30 April 2016.
The regional slogan of the 2016 Africa Vaccination Week is “Vaccinated communities, Healthy communities” and the theme is “Close the immunisation gap. Stay Polio Free!
The AVW 6th edition has coincided with the global switch from trivalent Oral Polio Vaccine to bivalent Oral Polio Vaccine, as part of the Global Polio Eradication and End Game.
Earlier this year, as First Ladies of Africa, during the 16th Ordinary General Assembly in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, we reaffirmed our commitment to advocate for access and investments to life saving vaccines for Africa’s mothers, newborn, children and adolescents.
“As we commemorate the Africa Vaccination Week, let us all remember to “Close the immunization gap. Stay Polio Free! By Vaccinating our children”, said Mutharika.