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Celebration of fiftieth anniversary of the Expanded Immunization Programmme in Sao Tome and Principe | WHO

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The celebration of 2024 African Vaccination Week was launched on 3rd Could locally of Madalena, within the district of Mé-zochi.

The occasion organized by the Minister of Well being, Ângela COSTA, was attended by the President of the District Chamber of Mé-zochi, Anahory Dias, WHO Resident Consultant, Dr. Françoise BIGIRIMANA, well being professionals, companions and the group of Madalena. The particular occasion additionally included a well being truthful with exhibition of well being and promotive supplies, prevention and care companies for the group of Madalena that benefited freed from cost major well being care, out-patient consultations, gyneco obstetrics companies, Sexual and Reproductive companies, lab exams, ultrasounds, and coverings.

This 12 months the world can also be celebrating the fiftieth years of the creation of the Expanded Immunization Programme (EPI). In São Tomé and Príncipe, it’s the forty sixth anniversary of EPI.

Amongst key outcomes of the immunization program, São Tomé and Príncipe eradicated wild Polio and interrupted instances of measle. In actual fact, the nation recorded its final case of polio in 1982 and measles in 1994.

For a few years, São Tomé and Príncipe has been on the forefront of vaccination protection within the central Africa sub-region, for instance, Pentavalent 3 vaccine protection was 94% in comparison with 74% for the area in 2019 (supply: WHO Report 2019). 

The WHO Consultant, Dr. Françoise BIGIRIMANA congratulated Sao Tome and Principe for the great efficiency and mentioned, “That is the results of excessive political management, the dedication of the authorities, the companions, the well being professionals, mother and father and group leaders.”

In the course of the three coming weeks group well being staff and well being professionals are engaged to establish and vaccinate youngsters with zero doses or incomplete vaccinations within the districts. The main target can be on the bottom performant districts when it comes to vaccination within the nation, particularly the district of Mé- zochi, Lobata and Água-Grande.

Lowest performant districts are main the discount the vaccination protection within the nation. In actual fact, within the final 4 years, the nation has seen a discount in vaccination protection from 94% in 2019 to 86% in 2023 for Pentavalent 3, aggravated by the COVID pandemic throughout 2021 and 2022 (supply: nationwide EPI report)

Concerning the kids absolutely vaccinated within the nation the numbers additionally dropped from 70.2% in 2017 to 65.2% in 2023 (supply: Nationwide Vaccination Protection Survey – ICV 2023).

Sao Tome and Principe, Kids utterly vaccinated (%), ICV 2017-2023

If the nation continues to drop the vaccination protection, there’s the chance of outbreaks as mentioned the WHO consultant.  Minister Well being, Angela Costa, known as for the next engagement of well being professionals, mother and father and companions to extend vaccination protection.

The occasion was additionally a chance for the minister of well being to publicly acknowledge the efforts of finest performant professionals together with nurses, docs, drivers, and Cantagalo as one of the best performing district in immunization.

WHO Consultant, Dr. Françoise BIGIRIMANA, acknowledged throughout her speech that WHO is dedicated to strengthen the technical assist by way of mentoring and capability constructing of Expanded Immunization Programme and districts groups to enhance vaccination protection, supervision, and manufacturing of high quality knowledge. The assist will embody the event of a brand new nationwide vaccination technique “with progressive approaches to succeed in the regional and international targets aligned to 2030 objectives of vaccination”.

The celebration of fifty years of EPI was a chance to spotlight that globally, over the past 50 years, vaccination has all the time been on the forefront of world well being efforts, saving hundreds of thousands of lives! Simply in Africa it’s estimated that 51.2 million lives have been saved by way of vaccination. For each toddler life saved over that interval, life expectancy was elevated to 60 years and above, in line with World Well being Group (supply: Safeguarding Our Future: Humanly Doable report).

Among the many principal outcomes of EPI on this planet are the eradication of smallpox in 1979 and wild poliovirus in 2020. The vaccination has additionally decreased drastically deaths attributable to meningitis by 39% between 2000 and 2019 in Africa. Since 2017, no instances of meningitis attributable to the sort A pressure have been discovered. The progress made in eliminating maternal and neonatal tetanus in Africa area has additionally been commendable.

The rollout of latest vaccines resembling the primary ever malaria vaccine, has additionally arrange a brand new hope of future generations in Africa freed from malaria. Greater than 30 nations within the African area have already expressed their curiosity within the malaria vaccine and scheduled to roll it out by the top of 2024.


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