End childhood death from vaccine-preventable diseases, group urges govt

A leading child rights organisation, Save the Children International in Nigeria, with a global presence in over 120 countries, has urged governments and stakeholders at all levels to accelerate actions toward reducing and ending childhood death from vaccine-preventable diseases.

247ariya Healthwise reports that the call came as the world marks the 2022 World Immunisation Week, with the theme ‘Long Life for All’.

SCI made the call in a statement issued to our correspondent on Monday to commemorate the week while expressing concern over the drop in global vaccination rates.

According to SCI, available data showed that global vaccination rates had dropped to levels not seen in a decade, with 3.5 million fewer children receiving vaccines in 2020 compared to 2019

The organisation believes that immunisation prevents diseases, disabilities, and deaths from vaccine-preventable diseases such as diphtheria, hepatitis B, measles, and pneumonia.

According to the statement, vaccines were among the greatest advances in global health and development.

“For over 200 years, vaccines have protected us against diseases, allowing generations of people to grow and thrive.

“Vaccines help eradicate childhood diseases and save millions of children’s lives each year.”

The statement also highlighted the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the disruption of immunisation services, leaving millions of children at greater risk of missing out on critical vaccinations against diseases like measles, mumps, whooping cough, pneumonia, and poliomyelitis, hence the call on the government to work towards improving immunisation.

Save the Children believes that immunisation saves millions of lives and it is recognized as one of the world’s most successful health interventions.

Reacting, Interim Country Director, SCI in Nigeria, Shannon Ward, said, “Every child needs to be vaccinated against preventable diseases. These diseases can negatively impact the quality of life and cause death. We welcome increased emphasis and training for health workers and community members on the many benefits of immunization.”

Ward said the theme for the 2022 immunisation week aims to highlight the collective action needed and to promote the use of vaccines to protect people of all ages against vaccine-preventable diseases.

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