29 April 2016
AVW 2016 Theme, « Close the Immunization Gap. Stay polio Free! » Will Be Amplified by Africa United, The Popular Sports And Political Platform Throughout Continent in Series of Media, Video and Awareness Activities
DAKAR, Senegal, 28 April 2016 -/African Media Agency (AMA)/- Throughout Africa, immunization partners are celebrating African Immunization Week 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.
This year, Africa United, a campaign led by a coalition of African leaders and celebrities such as Didier Drogba and designed to drive communications around strengthening national immunization programs while raising awareness on routine vaccination, has teamed up with the World Health Organization African Regional Office (WHO AFRO), to highlight African Vaccination Week’s theme through the « Every Shot Counts » initiative. The campaign’s partners use visual materials that amplify existing education, advocacy, and health care delivery efforts. The theme for African Vaccination Week 2016 is « Close the gap. Stay polio free! » and draws attention to the need for universal immunization coverage in the African Region. It is also a celebration of the important polio eradication milestone that has been reached, and calls on countries to stay vigilant in the fight against polio, to stay polio free.
On the occasion of this Sixth Annual African Vaccination Week, Ms. Yacine Djibo, Founder of Speak Up Africa and co-manager of the Africa United Campaign reminds us that the leading causes of death among children (pneumonia and diarrhea) in Africa can be effectively prevented by vaccinating all children. « There is no more cost effective way for us to protect millions of our children. No children need die of diarrhea or pneumonia if we vaccinate our kids » added Mrs. Djibo.
Mrs. Djibo commended the World Health Organization Regional Office for Africa (WHO AFRO) for its leadership in the fight for children through Universal Vaccination.
Thanks to a strong global leadership, including the World Health Organization Regional Office for Africa (WHO AFRO), the first-ever Ministerial Conference on Immunization in Africa was held earlier this year, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. At the conference, African leaders took bold steps towards universal coverage with commitments outlined in theDeclaration on Universal Access to Immunization as a Cornerstone for Health and Development. Commitments underscored that in order to achieve universal vaccination, a multi-pronged approach is needed to raise awareness of the life-saving value of immunization, to advocate for universal access, and to generate increased demand for new and existing vaccines. WHO country offices and partners across the continent will 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.
Join the global conversation about African Vaccination Week on social media by following #AVW2016, #VaccinesWork and #EveryShotCounts. Like and share the Every Shots Counts African Vaccination Week 2016 video.
Click HERE for the full video.
About African Vaccination Week 2016
Running concurrently with World Immunization Week, African Vaccination Week (AVW) provides an opportunity for countries to strengthen immunization services and systems through advocacy, education, and communication tools and activities. For more information about AVW, please visit http://www.afro.who.int/en/african-vaccination-week/