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Boost for immunisation

By Mirirai Nsingo / Published on Friday, 10 Mar 2017 17:15 PM / No Comments / 379 views

10 March 2017

THE country’s immunisation programme on Wednesday got a major boost of over US $1 million from the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation (GAVI).

GAVI handed over 12 vehicles worth US $315 000 along with equipment and supplies worth US $1 million which will be distributed to the 18 priority districts around the country.

The vehicles are meant to strengthen the Expanded Programme on Immunisation (EPI) by providing support in service delivery, surveillance and logistics at a time the programme has become the most successful with remarkable progress having been made in vaccination coverage among infants.

“The vehicles will improve integrated outreach in hard to reach communities and enhance disease surveillance and logistics at provincial and central level.

“The vehicles will facilitate availability of vaccines at service delivery levels at all times as well as enhance the capacity of the health facilities to offer integrated health services,” Principal Director curative services in the Ministry of Health and Child Care, Sydney Makarawo said during the handover ceremony.

To date, Zimbabwe has received an estimated US$87, 6 million in form of both vaccines and cash grants from GAVI since 2001.

“GAVI has supported the Republic of Zimbabwe with cash based support since 2001 to date through grants for immunisation services support, health systems strengthening, new vaccine support, injection safety grants and vaccination campaigns.

“To date, GAVI has supported Zimbabwe with an estimated US $87, 6 million in form of both vaccines and cash grants. I would like to thank GAVI for this generous gesture and indeed all the on-going support to the programme and the entire direct beneficiaries of GAVIs support.

“It is now my great pleasure, honour and humility to accept this noble gesture demonstrated by GAVI and I would also like to confirm the Government’ s unwavering commitment to the reduction of child morbidity and mortality through strengthening all evidence-based survival interventions including the provision of quality life saving vaccines,” Makarawo added.

Speaking at the same event, United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Chief of health, Nejmudin Kedir Bilal underscored the importance of immunisation adding that it was the most cost-effective public health intervention.

“The first five years of a child’s life are the most critical in their development and are the foundation upon which they will build their future.

“It is critical that they receive optimum health services at this time and immunisation is one of the most cost-effective public health interventions to date, saving millions of lives and protecting countless children from illness and disability.”

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