About 1.5 million children die annually from vaccine-preventable diseases – WHO

VaccinationcRecent estimates from the World Health Organisation (WHO) shows that 1.5 million children across the globe die annually from vaccine-preventable diseases.

Additional 20 million children have not received the full course of immunization, Mr. Raphael Godlove Ahenu, the Chief Executive Officer of the Global Media Foundation (GLOMEF), a Ghanaian anti-corruption and human rights Non-Governmental Organisations (NGO) told the Ghana News Agency on Tuesday in Sunyani.

He said according to a study by WHO, if especially developing countries were able to improve on their national immunization coverage by additional two percent, it would help avert the approximately 300,000 deaths of children due to vaccine-preventable diseases.

Speaking on the 2015 global immunization week, which runs from April 24-30, Mr. Ahenu said the GLOMEF in collaboration with the Health Aid West Africa, a health-centered NGO, had designed programmes to help to intensify education on the need for child immunization.

The NGOs would hold high-level policy discussions on immunization at District and community levels, town hall events, quiz competitions in basic schools, radio discussion programmes, as well as mobilize support from religious groups for immunization.

Mr. Ahenu said the purposes of the programmes were to help ensure that marginalized children obtained full course of immunization.

He said the immunization week was an important opportunity for Civil Society, Community-based and Faith-based organizations as well as the Media to increase public awareness campaigns to improve vaccination delivery services for all children.

Mr Ahenu stressed that strengthening immunisation services would sustain the gains made in immunization to close the existing gap in the coverage exercises.

He observed that though CSOs, CBOs and NGOs had contributed a lot to reducing the global burden of vaccine-preventable diseases, much education and support was still required from them.

Source: GNA

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