SATURDAY, OCTOBER 1, 2016

WHO seeks to improve immunization access in Central Africa

WHO hopes to improve the immunization process in Central Africa. | Courtesy of afro.who.int

The Inter-Country Support Team for Central Africa, a branch of the World Health Organization (WHO), recently met to discuss methods to implement its Expanded Programme on Immunization (EPI).

During a meeting in Douala, Cameroon this week, the team discussed how the program could improve accessibility to immunization services in 10 countries in Central Africa.

More than 120 people attended the meetings, including representatives from WHO and UNICEF. 

Medical professionals see immunizations as the best solution for improving public health; however, countless people still do not have access to vaccines. WHO estimates that 20 percent of children remain unvaccinated in the African region.

There also are still ongoing health problems in many developing countries, including five confirmed polio cases in Equatorial Guinea and an additional five confirmed polio cases in the Cameroon.

Health professionals are also working toward eliminating measles, and maternal and neonatal tetanus (MNT), which continues to be an ongoing problem in many countries within Central Africa. 

As part of the EPI, health care providers will utilize the Reach Every District approach as well as other locally tailored approaches  to maximize accessibility to immunization services. 

The overall goal of the WHO's Regional Immunization Strategic Plan 2014-2020 is to achieve universal immunization. Doing so would improve global health overall, including potentially eliminating polio worldwide.


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