High-Level Leadership, Ongoing Investment Needed To Fulfill Africa’s Commitment To Achieving Immunization Goals, Opinion Piece Says

CNBC Africa: Op-Ed: Reinventing immunization in Africa
Jean-Marie Okwo-Bele, former director of the WHO’s Department of Immunization, Vaccines and Biologicals, and Richard Mihigo, immunization and vaccines development program coordinator at the WHO Regional Office for Africa

“…Ongoing investment in vaccine research and development — and in large-scale immunization programs — is essential for preserving individual health and population security. Only through high-level leadership, increased resources, and a continent-wide commitment can we expect to achieve the ambitious immunization goals we have set out for ourselves. … First, we should anchor immunization within primary health care. … Next, we should guarantee the funding required for immunization. … Key organizations involved should mount concerted national efforts to educate communities to appreciate and seek out immunization. … Bridging the gap in access to vaccines between locations and populations is essential as well. Data can help target those most in need. … Likewise, it is vital to strengthen the micro-planning processes for local officials and communities in order to maximize access to immunization services and ensure future success. … Throughout all these steps, we must keep innovating, collaborating and learning from each other. … Lastly, technology and digital communications will have to be harnessed to enhance services, accuracy and accountability…” (10/25).

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