Immunisation has proven to be one of the cost-effective public health intervention programmes that have saved millions of lives from childhood vaccine preventable diseases, Malawi’s Ministry of Health said in a statement on Thursday.
The statement comes as Malawi joins the rest of the continent in celebrating African Vaccination Week from April 22 to April 28 2013 under the theme ‘Save lives. Prevent Disabilities. Vaccinate’.
The statement co-signed by the principal secretary for Health Paul Chiunguzeni and Word Health Organisation (WHO) resident representative Dr. Felicitas Zawaira said this year’s vaccination focused on strengthening national immunisation programmes in Africa by raising awareness on its value and importance.
It says there is need to increase vaccination coverage and uptake of new and existing vaccines while prioritising service provision for hard-to-reach areas.
“Decades of experience have shown that investment in immunisation pays off in terms of lives saved and illness prevented,” reads the statement in part.
Ministry of Health public relations officer Henry Chimbali said in an interview Malawi has made strides by making immunisation available to all children and is on the verge of eliminating fatal diseases like polio and tetanus.
“In 2011, government introduced Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine [PCV] that prevents pneumonia and in 2012, it launched Rota virus vaccine preventing diarrhoea in children,” said Chimbali.