Routine Immunization: Reach Every Child




We, the First Ladies of Africa, members of the Organization of African First Ladies against HIV/AIDS (OAFLA) meeting during the 16th Ordinary General Assembly on 31st January 2016, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia;               

BEARING IN MIND significant progress made to improve maternal and child health has been made, as demonstrated by a reduction in child mortality in Sub-Saharan Africa by 54%[1] since 1990 and a reduction of maternal mortality in the same region by 45%[2] since 1990.

RECALLING the Yaoundé campaign to Kick Polio out of Africa (1996); Declaration adopted by the Conference of African Ministers of Health (Addis Ababa, 2009; the 13th OAFLA General Assembly adopted the OAFLA Strategic Plan 2014- 2018 with Goal 2: contribute to the national effort in reducing maternal, neonatal and child mortality; the World Health Assembly resolution that commits Member States to apply the vision and strategies of the Global Vaccine Action Plan (GVAP) and to allocate adequate human and financial resources to achieve vaccination goals (Geneva, May 2012)

NOTING WITH PRIDE Africa’s achievement in successfully going without a case of wild polio virus for one year. We look forward to the opportunity when the entire continent will be certified polio-free. To achieve this, there must be ongoing vigilance by all stakeholders to maintain these impressive gains.  

FOCUSED on the fact that pneumonia, diarrhoea, measles and other vaccine preventable diseases that are causes of death among children under 5 in Africa and that the best way to prevent these diseases is through immunization as part of an integrated approach that includes social behaviour change, health systems strengthening, and community access to care and commodities.

CONCERNED that despite the fact that vaccines are one of the best buys in health, 1.5 million children under five still lose their lives annually to diseases that could be prevented by vaccines. Nearly 19 million children, mainly in poor countries, are still not immunised with the most basic vaccines and Africa accounts for a quarter of those unimmunised.

RECOGNISE the important gathering of Minsters of Health, Finance, and Social Affairs at the Ministerial Immunization conference in February 24-25, 2016 in Addis Ababa, which outlined important steps to intensify efforts to provide immunization services to all African children.

REAFFIRMS The Organization of African First Ladies Against HIV/AIDS (OAFLA)’s commitment to advocate for access and investments to life saving vaccines for Africa’s mothers, newborn, children and adolescents.

CALL UPON all Member States of the African Union, the Heads of State, the Ministers of Health, Finance, State, Social Affairs and local Government leaders, community leaders, traditional and religious leaders, the media, and civil society organizations TO :

·         Strive to achieve the agreed target of 90% coverage of DTP3/Penta3 by 2020 endorsed by WHO Member States in the Global Vaccine Action Plan; and at least 80% vaccination coverage in every district or administrative unit.  

·         Prioritise immunization as a key intervention to reduce child mortality.

·         Honour commitments made at the global, continental and national levels to reduce maternal, new-born and child mortality, especially those targeting the poorest and most marginalised in our communities.

·         Accelerate national and regional immunization commitments such as those in the Regional immunization plans (AFRO & EMRO), Global Vaccine Action Plan (GVAP), Campaign on Accelerated Reduction of Maternal, New-born and Child mortality in Africa (CARMMA).

·         Commit to supporting all national and regional plans to strengthen routine immunization in all African countries.

·         Increase domestic investments to support proven high impact cost-effective interventions on child health, where immunization is one of the key interventions.

·         To get vaccines at affordable costs.

·         Mobilize resources to strengthen health systems and services.

·         Advocate and address barriers, be they cultural or religious that hinder access to these services, to fulfil our common goal of improved health status for our children.


Done at Addis Ababa on 31 January 2016