Thursday February 25 2016

African Countries urged to increase domestic financing towards immunisation

Uganda delegation at the Conference includes

Uganda delegation at the Conference includes State Minister for planning David Bahati and State Minister for Education Chrysostom Miyingo. Photo by Emmanuel Ainebyoona. 

By Emmanuel Ainebyoona

The World Health Organistion has urged African Countries to increase domestic financing if they are to achieve universal immunisation coverage.

The call was made by the WHO regional director for Africa, Dr Matshidiso Moeti while officiating the opening ceremony of the 2-day Ministerial Conference on immunisation in Africa at the African Union headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

"We need African governments to renew their commitment and reaffirm that universal immunisation coverage is a cornerstone of health and development," Dr Moeti said.

She said that leaders at all levels should address persistent barriers to vaccine delivery and health systems most especially in marginalised populations.

"Most national budgets remain inadequate and countries can put immunisation on a long term sustainability by increasing domestic investment in health and immunisation," she added.
The just released immunisation report indicates that only 15 countries in Africa fund more than 50 per cent of their national Immunisation expenditure

While delivering the keynote address, former Tanzania President Jakaya Kikwete, citing a new report on imminadition said that one in five children in Africa do not receive basic lifesaving vaccines.

"In other words, when children don't get their immunistion, they are less likely to celebrate their fifth birthday and if they survive thay are less likely to grow into optimal productivity for a brighter future," said Mr Kikwete who is currently a GAVI ambassador on immunisation.

The host, Ethiopian Prime Minister, Hailemariam Desalegn, said that the conference should empower governments to demonstrate commitments to expanding access of vaccines across Africa.
"Africa is celebrating 18 months without reporting a case of polio and we are looking towards its elimination in 2018," Mr Desalegn said in his address to the delegates.

The Uganda delegation at the Conference is led by the State Minister for Primary Health Care Sarah Opendi. Also in attendance is State Minister for planning David Bahati, State Minister for Education Chrysostom Miyingo, Director General Health Services Dr Jane Aceng, UNEPI Manager Dr Henry Luzze and Mufti Ramadan Mubaje.