Ahead of African Vaccination Week (AVW) 2019, immunization partners have called for renewed efforts to reach all children with life-saving vaccines as measles cases in Africa increased seven-fold.
Ms Whitney Mwangi, the spokesperson for the group in a press release made available to APRECON, said that measles outbreaks have been reported in at least nine countries in Africa.
She noted that the number of reported cases of measles had increased by 700 per cent in the first three months of 2019 compared to 2018.
According to her, in recognition of this year’s theme: “Protected Together: Vaccines Work!’’, immunisation partners have stressed the importance of utilising available resources.
This, she said, was to ensure collaborative, consistent and effective fight vaccine-preventable diseases, adding that the leaders are committed to enhancing access to quality healthcare for all in their countries.
“We need to work together to improve immunisation delivery so that all children are protected from preventable disease, recent disease outbreaks on the continent remind us of the urgency of this goal.
“Outbreaks of measles in Madagascar and Ebola in the Democratic Republic of Congo underscore the need for increased investments in immunisation as a fundamental part of strengthening primary healthcare systems,” she said.
The statement also said that everyone had a role to play in ensuring that children and communities get the immunisation services they needed from politicians and community advocates to health practitioners and parents themselves.
“I hope African Vaccination Week will encourage each of us to do our part and that these collective efforts will drive progress across the region.”
She stated that AVW 2019 would take place from 22-28 April; this would give prominence to ongoing initiatives dedicated to strengthening vaccine delivery across the African region.
With the current rise in measles outbreak in Africa, African Vaccination Week is a galvanizing period for the region, in which millions of people receive critical vaccines and screenings. It is also a rallying moment for immunization advocates to encourage governments to keep immunization high on their national and regional agendas.
“Everyone has a role to play in ensuring that children and communities get the immunization services they need – from politicians and community advocates to health practitioners and parents themselves. I hope African Vaccination Week will encourage each of us to do our part and that these collective efforts will drive progress across the region,” said His Excellency Mr Evaristo do Espirito Santo Carvalho, President of São Tomé and Príncipe.
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