Switzerland: Global immunization coverage sustained in past five years - WHO

Geneva, Switzerland (PANA) -The latest World Health Organisation (WHO) and UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) data on global immunization coverage show that 86% of the world’s children received the required 3 doses of diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis containing vaccines (DTP3) in 2015, a coverage level that has been sustained above 85% since 2010.

As a result, the number of children who did not receive routine vaccinations has dropped to an estimated 19.4 million, down from 33.8 million in 2000, WHO has said in a statement.

It said, however, this progress falls short of global immunization targets of the Global Vaccine Action Plan (GVAP) for the Decade of Vaccines of achieving 90% or more DTP3 vaccination coverage at the national level and 80% or more in all districts in all countries by 2015.

The statement said among the 194 WHO Member States, 126 countries achieved and sustained the 90% immunization target for DTP3, up from 63 in 2000. "Many of these countries, especially the low and middle income countries, need to continue strengthening their health systems as they add vaccines to their national programmes so that coverage with all vaccines reach and sustain at the 90% or more target," the statement said.

It noted that countries such as Congo, Guatemala, Iraq, Mauritania, Philippines and South Sudan have experienced recent decline in coverage due to under-investments in national immunization programmes, vaccine stock-outs, disease outbreaks or conflicts and have not been able to establish or maintain strong health systems that are needed to sustainably deliver vaccination services to reach and sustain high immunization coverage.

Six countries had less than 50% coverage with DTP3 in 2015, many of which are fragile states and affected by emergencies: Central African Republic, Equatorial Guinea, Somalia, South Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic and Ukraine.

The statement said in addition to generating estimates of national immunization coverage, WHO and UNICEF also collect and report data on coverage at sub-national levels. National coverage estimates often mask large inequities in coverage within countries. Achieving high and equitable coverage requires targeted actions at sub- national levels.

It said there were 158 countries that reported coverage estimates at the district level for 2015. While WHO and UNICEF estimates showed that 126 countries had DTP3 coverage of 90% or more at the national level, only 90 countries reported sub-national coverage.

Of these, only 53 countries had coverage of 80% or more in all districts. Worldwide, of the 32201 districts from which data were available, 25% had coverage below 80%; the proportion could be higher given the nature and quality of the administrative coverage data at the district level.

The statement said WHO and UNICEF are increasing efforts to gather sub-national coverage data and support countries in improving the quality and use of the sub-national coverage data to take actions to achieve high and equitable immunization coverage.

The updated WHO/UNICEF estimates also show that coverage with vaccines other than DTP, has improved.

It noted that worldwide, the number of children protected against hepatitis B is high and increasing steadily. In 2000, just 29% of children received three doses of vaccine against the viral disease; this has increased to 84% in 2015. However, more still needs to be done to ensure that all infants receive a hepatitis B vaccine dose within their first 24 hours of life.
-0- PANA MA 17July2016

17 يوليو 2016 07:16:17




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