TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 27, 2016

WHO estimates 26 million lives can be saved through immunization efforts

The World Health Organization’s Coordinator for Programme and Impact Monitoring to the Department of Immunization, Vaccines and Biologicals Dr. Thomas Cherian called on Thursday for international government to improve vaccination programs to save lives.

Cherian spoke at the Excellence in Paediatrics Conference in Qatar, which was organized by the Sidra Medical and Research Center. He estimated that 26 million deaths from vaccine-preventable diseases would be avoided by 2024 if vaccination campaigns began now.

"While immunization already prevents millions of deaths and uncounted illnesses, we must continue working together in supporting countries to deliver life-saving vaccines to people in every community and in every country," Cherian said. "Together, we can make the Global Vaccine Action Plan vision ― a world in which all individuals and communities enjoy lives free from vaccine-preventable diseases ― a reality."

Cherian said this vision is foreseeable if the governments take initiative and run an immunization program that increases access to affordable vaccines for diseases that are vaccine-preventable. Cherian also suggested governments increase infrastructure to effectively monitor data and performance.

"The common thread for us all is to achieve greatness by nurturing the potential of the individual,” Sidra Chief Executive Officer Dr. William Owen said. “And building potential begins with creating and maintaining health among our children and for our children yet to be born. I see education, which is the mission of this event, as being the first step in this."