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African Vaccination Week 2018

African Vaccination Week is an annual event celebrated during the last week of April and led by the World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Office for Africa. The goal is to strengthen immunization programmes in the African Region by increasing awareness of the importance of every individual’s (especially children and woman) need and right to be protected from vaccine-preventable diseases.

The over-arching theme of African Vaccination Week is “Vaccinated communities, healthy communities”. This year's theme is “Vaccines work, do your part!” The theme emphasises the needed collective action to ensure that every person is protected from vaccine-preventable diseases. It urges greater action on immunization across the African region, with a focus on the role that everyone can play in these efforts - from donors and governments to individuals.

It also aims at keeping immunization high on national and regional agendas through advocacy and partnerships and to promote the delivery of lifesaving interventions in line with global and regional objectives and strategic plans.This year's theme also seeks to highlight the need and importance for everyone to get vaccinated or update their immunization status, while also receiving other lifesaving interventions. 

In Ghana, UNICEF is working with the Ghana Health Service with support from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) in bridging the gap of dropout rates of children from 12 to 24 months in the vaccination cycle. 

The pilot for this week-long celebration which was held in September 2017 was dubbed, Second Year of Life (2YL), launched in two districts in the Northern region. The programme is being scaled up to cover the whole country. The theme is “Go the full circle, for Immunization”. This is to ensure that every child is fully immunized by 24 months or catch up on missed doses before they turn 5. Through various efforts at the community level, over 200,000 people have been reached with information on immunisation at the right age. Among the people reached are key influencers such as religious and traditional leaders.

Key on-going activities include following up on children who have missed the first round of vaccination and closing the gap on the dropout rate from the first year to the second year.

UNICEF will continue to advocate for government and all stakeholders to allocate sufficient resources for vaccination activities or social mobilization outreach and health promotion for immunization and other child survival interventions.




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