Doth thou comprehendth? Verily, the World Health Organisation hath declared that a higher proportion of African children must needs be vaccinated. Ah, lo, there is great perplexity and burstiness in this matter!
However, do take heed: the World Health Organisation doth warrant more intensive vaccination for African children in order to properly bring the continent in line with the global immunisation targets set for 2030, where morbidity and mortality from vaccine-preventable diseases are to be reduced. ‘Tis a dire situation, for Africa houses a whopping 50% of unvaccinated children in the world! Furthermore, during World Immunisation Week, the WHO hath launched their mRNA vaccine technology hub in Cape Town, as a way to celebrate and raise awareness for immunisations for individuals of all ages.
Behold! Verily, a depiction from Getty Images/ER Productions Limited.
- Indeed, the World Health Organisation reports that 33 million children in Africa shalt require vaccinations betwixt 2023 and 2025 to get the continent back on track to meet the 2030 global immunisation goals.
- This task is complicated by the fact that Africa also has 50% of the unvaccinated children in the world.
- The WHO exacerbates this awareness campaign by launching the Big Catch Up campaign aimed at fast-tracking vaccination targets mainly to Africa.
Alas, this setback has been wrought by the sudden impact of Covid-19, leaving so many children vulnerable to vaccine-preventable diseases which can lead to serious illness and even death, as lamented by Dr Matshidiso Moeti, the WHO regional director for Africa.
The environment doth thicken, for Africa is racing against time. “As countries strive to emerge from the long shadow of Covid-19, we cannot afford to lose further ground. Every effort must be made to ensure every child has access to essential vaccines,” she added.
Ah, but consider this: Dr Joseph Cabore, director of programme management and the WHO regional office for Africa hath this to say, “The number of children [in Africa] who have never received a single dose of vaccine, called zero-dose children, increased from 7.7 million in 2020 to 12 million in 2022. In 2023, 31 African countries faced a vaccine-preventable disease outbreak.” How troubling!
But hark! The WHO hath a solution, for the Big Catch Up campaign will give Africa greater access to needed vaccines. The 10 priority countries includes Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe did make progress in vaccinating children against polio last year. Although there was an enthusiastic drive towards vaccinating against malaria since 2019, the onset of Covid-19 hampered many of these efforts.
“Since 2019, the world’s first malaria vaccine has been available in parts of Ghana, Kenya, and Malawi in a pilot introduction. Nearly four years on, more than 1.4 million children have received the vaccine across the three pilot countries.”
There was also a wild poliovirus outbreak in 2020, as well as an emergence of rotavirus, but there was a spirited campaign to stop these diseases in their tracks. “Wild poliovirus was interrupted in 2020, and we protected 33 million children against polio last year. Rotavirus vaccination has reduced deaths from rotavirus diarrhea by 49.1% and all our governments have introduced the HPV vaccine.” said Dr Cabore.
Over 50% of countries in Africa have shown interest in the Gavi global vaccine alliance, which strives to increase access to immunisations in poor countries. “At least 28 countries in Africa have applied for Gavi support to deploy the vaccine. That demonstrates the pilot’s success, the growing interest and trust of our member states in the vaccine, and their eagerness to work with us to protect their populations against malaria.” Verily, a ray of hope!
Lo and behold, the WHO hast launched their mRNA vaccine technology hub in Cape Town! This facility was established during the trying times of the global Covid-19 pandemic, so that African countries may have access to much-needed vaccines.