Over 50 million lives saved in Africa through expanded immunization programme

April 29, 2024

In the past 50 years, vaccines have played an important role in saving lives across Africa. A recent report from the World Health Organization (WHO) highlights that approximately 51.2 million lives have been spared due to vaccines. For every infant saved, nearly 60 years of life have been gained.

Some notable achievements include a significant reduction in measles-related deaths, preventing an estimated 19.5 million fatalities over the last 22 years. Additionally, there has been a notable decrease in meningitis deaths, dropping by 39% in 2019 compared to 2000.

Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa, emphasizes the importance of maintaining and expanding vaccine access to eradicate vaccine-preventable diseases. Vaccines have undoubtedly contributed to keeping millions of people healthy and alive.

Thabani Maphosa, Managing Director of Country Programmes Delivery at Gavi, highlights the remarkable impact and cost-effectiveness of vaccines in improving health and development. Gavi has collaborated with 40 African countries over the past two decades to increase immunization coverage, introduce new vaccines like HPV and malaria vaccines, and respond to deadly outbreaks, resulting in millions of lives saved and substantial economic benefits.

Etleva Kadilli underscores the significant progress made by governments and partners in ensuring more children in Africa reach their fifth birthday, thanks to vaccination efforts over the last fifty years.

Despite these successes, vaccination coverage for key vaccines like DTP1, DTP3, and MCV1 has slightly decreased in recent years, falling below the 2019 levels. This highlights the ongoing importance of ensuring widespread access to vaccines to safeguard public health across the continent.

Written by Beneditta Muema

Hey, like this? Why not share it with a buddy?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *