Africa Vaccination Week: WHO calls for increased vaccine coverage

The World Health Organisation (WHO) says it is working to ensure easy access to vaccines to help increase vaccine coverage in African countries.

Dr Francis Kasolo, WHO Representative to Ghana, who stated this underlined the need for countries to invest in strong immunisation systems in order not to leave any child behind.
He was speaking at the launch of the Africa Vaccination Week alongside the Child Health Promotion Week in Kumasi, in the Ashanti Region.
The African Vaccination Week is a week-long event that seeks to raise awareness about the importance of immunisation in protecting against deadly diseases.
This year’s event has been themed, “the Big Catch-up,” and is expected to highlight the benefits of vaccination across the African Continent.
Dr Kasolo said this year’s theme was timely given the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly in the last two years.
“The pandemic has had a significant impact on routine immunisation services with many children missing out on vital vaccinations,” he noted.
This, he said, had resulted in a rise in preventable diseases such as measles and yellow fever which had previously been on the decline.
He said “the Big Catch-up” was an opportunity for all stakeholders to redouble their efforts to ensure that every child had access to life-saving vaccines.
He expressed concern about misinformation and mistrust about vaccination which had led to some people refusing to take vaccines, putting them at risk of all kinds of diseases.
“We must work to address these concerns, provide accurate information, and build trust in vaccines and health systems that deliver them,” the WHO Representative advised.
Dr Kasolo said Ghana had made strides in improving and sustaining vaccination coverage over the years, and through the WHO and other partners, efforts had been made to enable children in some of the remotest parts of the country access life-saving vaccines.
He encouraged the media to use their platforms to raise awareness about the importance of vaccines and to dispel any myth or misinformation that may be circulating.

Source: GNA

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