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Zimbabwe, 8 March 2017: Today GAVI handed over twelve vehicles to support the Government in its Expanded Programme on Immunization (EPI)

HARARE, Zimbabwe – Today GAVI handed over twelve vehicles to support the Government in its Expanded Programme on Immunisation (EPI).

The vehicles, which were procured through UNICEF, will strengthen the programme by providing support in service delivery, surveillance and logistics, all critical components for an effective and efficient health care delivery system.

Director of Curative Services in the Ministry of Health and Child Care, Mr. Sydney Makarawo, acknowledged the positive impact the vehicles will have on the immunization efforts. “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,” he said.

The EPI is one of the most successful programmes in Zimbabwe with remarkable progress being made in vaccination coverage among infants and women of child-bearing age. According to the MICS 2014, 69.2 per cent of Zimbabwean children are fully immunized. Zimbabwe has a 92 per cent measles/rubella coverage and 94 per cent rotavirus coverage. Of great commendation is that Zimbabwe has been reported polio-free since 2005. In the past ten years, Zimbabwe has introduced the pneumoccocal conjugate vaccine; the rotavirus virus and the human-papilloma virus (HPV) vaccine.

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

Along with the vehicles, GAVI has also provided equipment and supplies to a combined worth of US$ 1,020,700 which will be distributed to the 18 priority districts around the country. Since 2002, GAVI had partnered with the Government in saving children’s lives and protecting people’s health by increasing equitable use of vaccines.

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For more information, please contact:

Victor Chinyama, Chief of Communications, UNICEF: Tel: 263 772 124 268, email: vchinyama@unicef.org

Donald Mujiri, Public Relations Officer, MOHCC: Tel: 0712 867337, email: dmujiri@gmail.com

 

 
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