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NewsWorld Immunization week: SCI expresses dismay over drop in global vaccination rates 

World Immunization week: SCI expresses dismay over drop in global vaccination rates 

Femi Mustapha

 

Save the Children International, (SCI) has expressed concern over the drop in global vaccination rates, despite immunization saves millions of lives and it is recognized as one of the world’s most successful health interventions.

 

The Interim Country Director of  SCI,  Shannon Ward, stated this in a  statement to mark the World Immunization Week and made available to the media in Kaduna.

 

The statement stated that Vaccines are among the greatest advances in global health and development, noting  that for over 200 years, vaccines have protected people against diseases, allowing generations  to grow and thrive.

 

She, however said that the available data have shown that global vaccination rates have dropped to levels not seen in a decade, with 3.5 million fewer children receiving vaccines in 2020 compared to 2019.

The COVID-19 pandemic, according to her, has contributed to the disruption of immunization services, leaving millions of children at greater risk of missing out on critical vaccinations against diseases like measles, mumps, whooping cough, pneumonia, and poliomyelitis.

Shannon Ward therefore called on
Governments, at all levels and stakeholders to end childhood death from vaccine-preventable diseases

“Every child needs to be vaccinated against preventable diseases. These diseases can negatively impact quality of life and cause death. We welcome increased emphasis and training for health workers and community members on the many benefits of immunization.”

 

She said this year’s theme of “Long Life for All” is aiming to highlight the collective action needed, and to promote the use of vaccines to protect people of all ages against vaccine preventable diseases.

In a remark SCI Director of Advocacy, Campaigns, Communication and Media,  ‘Amanuel Mamo,  urged the Government of Nigeria to support an increase in domestic investment in the health sector to meet with a 15 % target of the Abuja Declaration (2001)

 

Amanuel Mamo,  added  that  the  government should  ensure that health spending improves child health services, including by removing user fees, reducing non-financial barriers to accessing care, and prioritizing primary health services, among others.

 

“Focusing on zero-dose children is particularly important because those who are reached with the first vaccine are highly likely to also receive remaining dosages.

“Vaccines are among the greatest advances in global health and development. For over 200 years, vaccines have protected us against diseases, allowing generations of people to grow and thrive. Vaccines help eradicate childhood diseases and save millions of children’s lives each year.

“This week provides us an opportunity to increase public awareness about the importance of every person’s need and rights, including that of children, girls, women and people with disabilities, to be protected from vaccine-preventable diseases.

“We call for increased coordination, collaboration with and support of stakeholders and the government to be able to deliver high-quality, timely, free and accessible immunization programmes at all levels.”

 

“Save the Children International calls upon the federal and state governments to keep immunization high on their sustainable development agendas as vaccinated communities will be healthy, productive and resilient.

 

“Hence, Save the Children supports the need for accelerating vaccine coverage by supporting Gavi’s 2020 replenishment and ensuring investment drives for more equitable vaccination coverage, and to improve vaccine affordability, especially for children and other vulnerable groups”.

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