Joint efforts to improve immunization, ensure societal health

Currently, our planet is striving to maintain a healthy and productive generation. A society that is insulated from health disorders is a showcase of healthiness. In this regard, more activities have also been done in eradicating and eliminating several vaccination-preventable diseases worldwide. For instance, the wiping out of Measles and Polio from several countries of the world is considered as the fruit of cooperation and involvement of all actors in the sector.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), immunization is a global health and development success story, saving millions of lives every year. Vaccines reduce risks of getting a disease by working with your body’s natural defenses to build protection. When you get a vaccine, your immune system responds.

While observing the activities regarding the aforementioned issue, which is currently visible on the ground, perhaps rural areas seek further attention to address limitations of vaccination access to children. Making available the required amount of medicines is the formidable task to enhance children’s access to vaccination upon their age intervals. Setting a strategy and a platform targeting effective, healthier and a bright future generation are vital to support the country’s future development and prosperity. Stressing the healthiness of the successor generation, on which a productive human power relies on, is fundamental.

In this piece this writer tries to cast light on the performance of the nation along the line of maintaining equity and quality immunization.

Recently, the Ministry of Health in collaboration with pertinent stakeholders held a sensitization workshop with national and regional public relations and communication directors and media professionals in Adama City on vaccination.

The workshop aspires to ensure equity and quality of immunization in Ethiopia through creating active public mobilization and awareness creation. In this case, the role of communication experts and media professionals is said crucial to sensitize the public about the importance of vaccination for children and adults during a period of pandemic.

At the workshop, the trainers also underscored the significant contributions of civil society organizations to address vaccination challenges to deliver the service across the country.

On the occasion, communication experts, journalists, and all the participants have raised the current performances of the nation regarding mobilizing the public and increasing the active involvement of the media towards deepening the awareness on the significance of immunization, among the public. They as well raised issues regarding promoting strategies focusing on equity and quality of services of immunization.

Opening the conference that is organized to promote the national immunization status of the country, Ministry of Health Vaccination Expert Tseganesh Gedilu said that active public mobilization is fundamental to ensure societal health.

As to her, any misleading information regarding vaccination should be curbed through creating effective communication among public relations experts, communicators, and the media professionals.

Ethiopia has realized the millennium health sector goals of minimizing infant mortality ahead of time, three years earlier. The Ministry’s effective and vast work targeting the health sector transformation enables the achievement of providing quality and equity services countrywide.

Thus, the active involvement of all sector actors and stakeholders in the provision of health facilities, supporting and availing immunization centers nationwide is pivotal. The active mobilization of health sector practitioners on protection centered immunization enhances the realization of effective health service in the country. To thwart the bottlenecks of widening immunization to the pastorals and vast rural areas, civil service organizations play a dominant role.

She emphasized that effective public mobilization and awareness creation activities are tangible to the nation’s immunization coverage and convincing the society to be forthcoming in taking the responsibility and letting children get vaccinated on-time. Thus the Ministry has set a platform of rippling more children immunization programs countrywide.

Moreover, having similar panel discussions and research in the area plays an indispensable role to strengthen pertinent stakeholders’ coordination and participation. The deepening of civil societies, private organizations and the public awareness towards letting children get vaccinated on time is also essential and plays a significant role in meeting the Ministry’s vision.

Expanded Program on Immunization Expert with the Ministry Alemayehu Ayele (MD) on his part said that immunization is one of the most cost effective and successful child survival interventions. As per the World Health Organization (WHO) recent estimate, in the world, over half a million children die every year as a result of vaccine preventable diseases.

The need to further vaccinations is important to ensure societal health along with ensuring every child’s right to grow healthy. Immunization is the safest and least expensive method to avoid child death.

He emphasized that in spite of the all-rounded efforts made in improving immunization coverage and utilization there exists a disparity of immunization coverage related to geographic, wealth, education and other markers. The reason for such disparities may not be mainly because of the absence of health facilities. It results from cold chain related problems at health facility levels, such as availing of vaccines on time and in the right quantity that especially affects vaccine service uptake in difficult and hard-reach areas.

According to him, doing consecutive discussions on averting problems in the health sector and consolidating stakeholders’ ties and coordination should be made a point to further outreach equity and quality immunization services nationwide.

In sum, increasing immunization coverage, addressing bottlenecks of the sector as well as availing medicines highly rests upon the commitment of the government, pertinent sector’s actors and every individual. Working to ensure equity and quality immunization programs in the country would play a tangible role in rendering the nation’s future rosy.


The Ethiopian Herald September 15/2023

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