Vaccination in Yemen: Saving lives, protecting the Economy

Economically, vaccines pack a punch: they are cost-effective and yield high investment returns

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UNICEF/UNI529051/ALfilastini

Highlights

This report highlights the positive impact of vaccination on children’s health and the economy of Yemen.

Vaccination plays a crucial role in public health, averting more than 4 million child deaths globally every year. By building immunity in individuals, vaccines curtail disease spread, creating healthier and wealthier communities, and pushing toward global health targets such as the Sustainable Development Goals.

VACCINES MISSED, LIVES LOST

In Yemen, far too many young lives are lost to diseases we know how to prevent. In 2022, the country sadly saw the deaths of 41,000 children from illnesses that could have been treated or avoided altogether. Imagine, every 13 minutes, a family grieves for a child they've lost.

Today, many parts of the world are stopping the spread of illnesses like measles or whooping cough (pertussis) with high vaccine rates. However, Yemen is still lagging behind. This is because vaccination rates for young children are alarmingly low, with less than 30 per cent of two-to-three-year-olds fully immunized, risking outbreaks.

Measles, polio and diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis (DTP) immunization rates stand at just 41 per cent, 46 per cent and 55 per cent, far below the threshold needed to ensure herd immunity and safeguard children's health. A combination of a lack of access to health care, vaccine hesitancy and conflict has caused diseases – that were once kept at bay – to make a comeback.

Vaccines are cost-effective and yield high returns.

Economically, vaccines pack a punch: they are cost-effective and yield high investment returns. Vaccines provide significant savings by avoiding the direct and indirect costs associated with treating preventable diseases and possible long-term disability. UNICEF data shows that investing US$1 in childhood vaccination can potentially yield a return on investment of US$20 in low- and middle-income countries between 2021 and 2030. Vaccines, therefore, strike a rare balance, being a cornerstone of both health and economic savvy.

Immunization is one of the best things money can buy

  • Prevention costs less than cure: Giving vaccines to prevent illness can save a lot of out-of-pocket money for the family – about 16 times than vaccination cost!
  • Future economic benefits: Every dollar spent on vaccination delivers a return on investment of US$20 in low- and middle-income countries.
Immunization report
Author(s)
UNICEF Yemen
Publication date
Languages
English, Arabic

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