World Fit For Children Goal: Ensure full immunization of children under one year of age at 90 per cent nationally, with at least 80 per cent coverage in every district or equivalent administrative unit; reduce deaths due to measles by half by 2005; eliminate maternal and neonatal tetanus by 2005; and extend the benefits of new and improved vaccines and other preventive health interventions to children in all countries.
DPT refers to the combined diphtheria, pertussis and tetanus vaccine. The percentage of children receiving the third dose, DPT3, is an indicator of how well countries provide routine immunization.
While global coverage for DPT3 (three doses of the combined diphtheria/ pertussis/ tetanus vaccine) has hovered between 70-81 per cent since 1990, significant variations exist between and within regions and countries. Sub-Saharan Africa, for example, lags behind, but continues to make steady progress with coverage at 73 per cent estimated in 2007. The coverage for South Asia, long stagnant, has nevertheless shown growth from 63 per cent in 2003 to 69 per cent in 2007.