By Chioma Umeha
To raise awareness of the importance of vaccination in reducing child mortality and renew efforts around universal vaccination coverage, the World Health Organisation Regional Office for Africa (WHO AFRO) launched the eighth African Vaccination Week (AVW) weekend. Vaccination can save children’s lives, and keep adults, communities and nations, healthy. One in five African children still lacks access to all the necessary and basic vaccinations.
AVW 2018 builds on the January 2017 Heads of State endorsement of the Addis Declaration on Immunization (ADI), a historic pledge to ensure that everyone in Africa receives the full benefits of immunization. To support Member State implementation of the ADI, a roadmap has been developed in close collaboration with WHO AFRO and EMRO, the African Union Commission and immunization partners. The roadmap provides Member States with specific strategies that can be incorporated into existing efforts to improve immunization.
In Abuja, Nigeria, celebrations were organised by the Community Health and Research Initiative (CHR) to raise awareness on the importance of vaccination and commitment for adequate finances to Immunisation.
At a breakfast meeting on the April 20, 2018 to commemorate the AVW in Abuja, Dr Faisal Shuaib the Executive Director of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency gave the assurance of the federal government readiness to fully implement strategies on Routine Immunization and Primary Health Cate System Strengthening’ with the sole aim to achieve 85 per cent coverage by the year 2028.
The Honourable Minister of State for Health Dr Osagie Ehenire in the same meeting also emphasized that “we as a nation must create a road map to reach the desired destination and Routine immunisation has to be Routine immunization all over the country as prevention is not only better than cure, but cost-effective.”
CHR Director Operations and Finance Mr. Salisu Musa calls on the Nigerian leaders to improve leadership management, accountability and pay more attention to low performing states as well as ensure adequate Immunization finances in the budget and its timely releases.