The Progress of Nations

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 The power of immunization

 

 League Table: The DPT3 coverage measure

Immunization remains the single most feasible and cost-effective way of ensuring that all children enjoy their rights to survival and good health. In the developing world, immunization saves the lives of 2.5 million children every year. Because of its recognized power and efficacy, renewed efforts are being made globally to mobilize more resources for another push to ensure that all children are protected by immunization and that new vaccines for other common killer diseases are developed.

A mixed performance

The series of immunizations known as DPT can prevent diphtheria, pertussis (whooping cough) and tetanus, but these three diseases still kill 600,000 children and afflict millions of others every year in developing countries. To be fully protected, children must receive three doses of the vaccine, administered at the ages of one month, one month and a half and three months. The percentage of children receiving the final dose (DPT3) is therefore a revealing and vital gauge of how well countries are providing immunization coverage for their children.

This league table shows progress, or lack of it, towards the lofty goal of immunizing 90% of children in all countries by the end of 2000. As the table indicates, 40 developing countries – and many industrialized countries – have done extremely well, attaining or exceeding the 90% coverage goal set at the 1990 World Summit for Children. The high performers are found primarily in the Americas, Central Asia, Europe and the Middle East and North Africa, but in sub-Saharan Africa, a region beset by economic hardship, armed conflict and AIDS, three countries – Gambia, Malawi and Mauritius – also attained 90% coverage or above. On average, however, only about half of the children in sub-Saharan Africa are protected. Countries in East Asia and the Pacific generally have high coverage, while South Asia, with a regional average of 70%, remains well below the goal.

The world average is now 77%, the result of a massive immunization campaign in many countries during the 1980s. That kind of push needs to be extended to provide coverage for all children. The new Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI) has been created to renew this effort. It aims to help poor countries that meet specific criteria (see ‘Plans to save more children with Hib vaccine’) overcome the great gaps they face in immunizing their children. GAVI aims by the year 2005 to have assisted these countries in attaining at least 80% DPT3 and measles coverage in all districts.

UNICEF/96-1485/Pirozzi

UNICEF/92-0885/Goodsmith

Sub-Saharan Africa Middle East and North Africa
Gambia 96 Iran 100
Malawi 96 Oman 100
Mauritius 90 Lebanon 97
Botswana 82 Libya 97
Tanzania 82 Syria 97
Benin 81 Iraq 96
Zimbabwe 81 Tunisia 96
Mozambique 77 Saudi Arabia 94
Rwanda* 77 U.Arab Emirates 94
Kenya 76 Israel 93
South Africa 76 Kuwait 93
Namibia 74 Morocco 93
Zambia* 70 Egypt 92
Ghana 68 Jordan 91
Madagascar 68 Regional average 84
Senegal* 65 Algeria 80
Guinea-Bissau 63 Sudan 72
Côte d’Ivoire 61 Yemen 68
Eritrea 60 Turkey 56
Ethiopia 58

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Lesotho* 57
Sierra Leone 56
Gabon* 54
Mali 52
Burundi 50
Regional average 48
Cameroon 46
Central African Rep. 46
Guinea 46
Uganda 46              
Burkina Faso 37
Togo 37
Angola 36
Mauritania* 28
Chad 24
Somalia* 24
Congo* 23
Niger 22
Nigeria 21
Liberia 19
Congo, Dem. Rep. 10

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UNICEF/92-0669/Vilas

CENTRAL ASIA EAST/SOUTH ASIA AND PACIFIC
Turkmenistan 99 Sri Lanka 100
Uzbekistan 99 China 98
Kazakhstan 98 Singapore 96
Azerbaijan 97 Viet Nam 96
Krygyzstan 97 Malaysia 95
Tajikistan 94 Thailand* 95
Georgia 86 Mongolia 94
Armenia 82 Indonesia 90
Regional average 74 Myanmar 87
Afghanistan 34 Australia 86

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Bhutan 86
Regional average 82
New Zealand 81
Philippines 79
Nepal 76
Korea, Rep. 74
India 73
Japan* 70
Bangladesh 68
Cambodia 64
Pakistan 59
Papua New Guinea 58
Lao PDR 55
Korea, Dem. 37

UNICEF/99-0246/Horner

UNICEF/91-0419/Sprague

AMERICAS

EUROPE

Peru 100 Hungary 100
Cuba 98 Finland 99
Panama 98 Slovakia 99
Canada 97 Czech Rep. 98
Honduras 97 Ukraine 98
Mexico 96 Belarus 97
Brazil 94 France* 97
Chile 93 Moldova, Rep. 97
Uruguay 92 Netherlands 97
Trinidad/Tobago 91 Portugal 97
United States 90 Romania* 97
Jamaica 88 Russian Fed. 97
Regional average 86 TFYR Macedonia* 97
El Salvador 86 Albania 96
Costa Rica 85 Bulgaria 96
Ecuador 85 Germany 95
Argentina 83 Regional average 94
Paraguay 81 Estonia 94
Dominican Rep. 74 Latvia 94
Colombia 70 Switzerland 94
Guatemala 70 Croatia 93
Nicaragua 69 Lithuanai 93
Bolivia 41 United Kingdom 93
Venezuela 38 Slovenia 91
Haiti 22 Austria* 90
*1997 coverage data.
Source: UNICEF, 1999.
Bosnia/Herzegovina 89
Greece* 85
Italy 70
Belgium No data
Denmark No data
Ireland No data
Norway No data
Poland No data
Spain No data
Sweden No data
Yugoslavia No data

 

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