Today, Heads of State from across Africa adopted a Declaration on Universal Access to Immunization in Africa, in which they endorsed the Addis Declaration on Immunization, a historic and timely pledge to ensure that everyone in Africa – regardless of who they are or where they live – receives the full benefits of immunization. The endorsement was issued during the 28th African Union (AU) Summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
With one in five African children lacking access to all needed and basic life-saving vaccines, ministers of health and other line ministers countries committed themselves to keep immunization at the forefront of efforts to reduce child mortality, morbidity and disability.
By Katrin DeCamp, Web, Manager & Senior Communications Specialist, USAID's Maternal and Child Survival Program and Robert Steinglass, Immunization Team Leader, Maternal and Child Survival Program
At month's end, African health and finance ministers will meet in Ethiopia for theMinisterial Conference on Immunization in Africa. Alongside technical experts and policymakers, their focus will be expanding access to vaccines, knowing 1 in 5 African children still don't receive all necessary immunizations.
By Joel Lamstein, President, John Snow, Inc. and World Education
Vaccines are among the most effective and inexpensive ways to fight infectious diseases and help people stay healthy. While there are a few people in affluent societies and troubled corners of the world who distrust vaccines, the history cannot be more clear: vaccines work. Unfortunately, not everyone has access to them.
Global vaccine experts and officials from all 26 African “meningitis belt” countries have convened in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia to celebrate one of Africa’s biggest public health achievements—the introduction of a vaccine, MenAfriVac®, designed, developed, and produced for use in Africa, that in five years of use has nearly eliminated serogroup A meningococcal disease from meningitis belt countries and is now being integrated into routine national immunization programs.