UAE says TB vaccination coverage at 98 percent
A senior health official made the announcement in Dubai during a speech marking Vaccination week. He also announced that vaccination coverage for the mumps was even higher, according to GulfNews.com.
"Immunization is estimated to avert between two and three million deaths annually worldwide," Dr. Mahmoud Fikri, the executive director of health policies at the Ministry of Health, said, GulfNews.com reports.
Fikri said that the UAE recently added the measles to its list of mandatory vaccinations. Children are now required to be vaccinated against a total of six illnesses - polio, diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, measles and tuberculosis.
Vaccination Week, according to Fikri, is a region-wide initiative to promote immunization through a combination of advocacy, education and communication activities.
"It requires collaboration among multiple private, NGOs and governmental sectors such as education, youth, sports, police and culture," Fikri said, according to GulfNews.com. "The benefits of immunization are increasingly being extended to adolescents and adults, providing protection against life- threatening diseases such as influenza, meningitis and cancers that occur in adulthood."
Fikri said that since 1988, the number of worldwide cases of polio have dropped by up to 99 percent in some endemic areas.