Mozambican PM nudges Africa to up vaccination coverage

Maputo- Mozambique (PANA) -- Mozambican Prime Minister Luisa Diogo Monday urged African governments to step up vaccination efforts to improve primary health care on the continent.
She was speaking here at the opening of the 14th meeting of the Committee of Vaccination Experts of the World Health Organisation (WHO).
She recalled the international pledge, made in 1990, to reach a vaccination coverage rate of at least 80 per cent against the main childhood diseases that can be prevented through vaccination.
In Mozambique, she said, the challenge now was to ensure that 90 per cent of all children were fully vaccinated, and that in each district the figure reaches at least 80 per cent.
Diogo said this was not an impossible goal, recalling that the national vaccination campaign against measles and polio had a coverage rate of 94 per cent.
"In that campaign, no province had coverage rates lower than 90 per cent," she said.
Diogo said neo-natal tetanus was also of serious concern to African states, and greater attention needed to be given it.
In the Mozambican case, this was being tackled through a drive to increase the number of women who give birth in health units, and to improve the rates of routine anti-tetanus vaccination among pregnant women, women of childbearing age, and children, she explained.
"Let us use science to change the destiny of Africa," Diogo told the delegates to the WHO forum.

27 november 2006 18:12:00




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