Indonesia: More than half of health facilities report significant disruptions to immunization services from COVID-19
Maintaining immunization services amidst the COVID-19 pandemic is critical to protect children from outbreaks of vaccine preventable diseases
JAKARTA, 2 June 2020 – More than half of health facilities in Indonesia reported significant disruptions to immunization services from COVID-19, according to a new survey of the Indonesian health system conducted by the Ministry of Health with support from UNICEF.
The survey, which took place from 20 to 29 April 2020, gathered responses from 5,329 out of 9,993 community health centres covering districts and cities across all 34 provinces in the country, in order to guide the development and dissemination of technical guidelines for safe immunization practices during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It is critical to ensure the safety of caregivers and health workers who are on the front line of the COVID-19 response,” said UNICEF Representative Debora Comini. “At the same time, we must take urgent action for the safe resumption of routine immunization services to avoid child deaths from vaccine-preventable diseases.”
Timely immunization against common childhood diseases not only save lives but requires fewer resources than responding to outbreaks. It also helps to reduce the burden on an already strained health systems.
Data from Indonesia’s national immunization programme shows that measles vaccination coverage between January and March 2020 decreased by 13 per cent compared to the same period in 2019, putting thousands of children at risk.
To ensure immunization services can be provided while limiting transmission of COVID-19, UNICEF recommends implementing the Ministry of Health’s safe immunization guidelines, in line with local mandates for physical distancing and guided by key factors such as the local burden of vaccine-preventable diseases, population demographics and vaccine availability.
The guidelines also recommend ensuring adequate support for immunization services through provision of personal protective equipment and vaccines in health facilities as well as the implementation of safety guidelines and tracking the progress of immunization programmes.
The survey is available at: https://www.unicef.org/indonesia/reports/rapid-assessment-immunization-services-indonesia
Visit this page to read the survey
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