World Health Organization Regional Office for Africa (WHO AFRO) has launched the 7th African Vaccination Week (AVW), to raise awareness of the importance of vaccination in reducing child mortality and renew efforts around universal vaccination coverage. Vaccination can save children’s lives, and keep adults, communities and nations, healthy. One in five African children still lacks access to all the necessary and basic vaccinations. Uganda is among the top 10 countries with highest number of un-immunized children in Africa.
Uganda joined other African Heads of State that endorsed the Addis Declaration on Immunization (ADI), a historic pledge to ensure that everyone in Africa receives the full benefits of immunization. To support Member State implementation of the ADI, a roadmap has been developed in close collaboration with WHO and other immunization partners. Uganda joins other African countries to celebrate AVW 2016 with various country-specific programs including vaccination, provision of a range of life saving health activities, health promotion, community outreach, media activities and more.
The Ministry of Health through UNEPI (Uganda National Expanded Program on Immunization) has strengthened the immunization system through various initiatives including New Vaccine Introduction, supplementary immunization activities, strengthening vaccine supply chain – buying new equipment, training health workers, enhancing awareness on benefits of immunization, and advocacy and communication including the 2016 immunization act.
This year, UNEPI has organized a number of activities to celebrate AVW with the following objectives: