75m inoculated against polio in Africa’s first region-wide vaccination week

Brazzaville, Congo (PANA) - More than 75 million children, women and men from 22 countries in the WHO African Region were vaccinated in April against polio and many other vaccine-preventable diseases, in the first-ever, region-wide vaccination campaign
of its type.

The inoculation took place during the first African Vaccination Week (AVW), initiated, coordinated and led by the WHO Regional Office for Africa (WHO/AFRO), the office said in a statement Wednesday.

In all, 39 of the 46 countries in the Region organised AVW activities, including vaccinating people against other vaccine-preventable diseases such as diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, hepatitis B, Hib, measles, yellow fever, meningitis, pneumococcal and rotavirus diseases.

The statement said the aim of the Immunization Week is to strengthen immunization programmes in the Region by drawing attention to, and increasing awareness of the importance, the need and the right of all persons to be protected against vaccine – preventable diseases.

“Sure, it was our first outing, but by all accounts it was a huge success,” WHO Regional Director for Africa, Dr Luis Sambo, was quoted as saying, after the exercise in which more than 86 million doses of polio vaccines were administered by more than 325 000 health workers and volunteers.

The regional vaccination week was officially launched in Kinshasa on 28 April by the Prime Minister of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mr Adolphe Muzito.

This year, for the first time, Immunization Week brought together about 180 countries and territories across five WHO Regions – Africa, the Americas, Eastern Mediterranean, Europe and the Western Pacific.

All conducted various events and activities to boost awareness of immunization and improve demand for vaccines and delivery of services.
-0- PANA PR/SEG 4May2011 

04 may 2011 09:58:59

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