UNICEF is dedicated to improving immunisation coverage in South Asia by engaging with communities, analysing and addressing barriers to full immunisation, and strengthening health systems.
One in three of the world’s under-immunised children lives in South Asia. The region is lagging behind on its elimination targets for measles, and maternal and neonatal tetanus. South Asia is the only region that is still fighting the battle against polio.
Some countries in the region are reaching 90 percent of their child population with vaccines, but there are significant disparities within and between countries. Access to immunisation is impeded by weak health systems, under skilled health workers, and gaps in parents’ awareness about the importance of vaccines.
Routine Immunisation is a key focus of UNICEF’s health programming in South Asia. To continue progress towards full immunisation, UNICEF is intensifying efforts to ensure that all children in the region are vaccinated. Strong political engagement, local partnerships and the timely support of governments are necessary conditions to meet our immunization targets.
By the end of 2021, UNICEF aims to increase the number of fully immunised children in South Asia by 3.3 million. We are also working towards ensuring that there are no new cases of polio in the region by the end of 2018.
UNICEF is working through regional partnerships to improve immunisation coverage in South Asia. We work with communities to better understand why demand for vaccines is sometimes lacking and what intervention would be most effective to change behaviours. We work with regional partners to develop communications tools to strengthen immunisation programmes. Initiatives like “Mission Indranush” in 200 low performing districts of India and the “Reach Every Community” approach in Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and Afghanistan have yielded positive results in immunisation coverage.
UNICEF is committed to effectively managing and developing immunization supply chain programmes in each country in the region. We support our country offices on how to improve the availability and quality of data on immunization to facilitate learning across the region. We support the spread and adoption of best practices to achieve the target of fully immunized children.
These resources represent just a small selection of materials produced by UNICEF and its partners in the region. The list is regularly updated to include the latest information.
- Achieving immunisation targets: WHO and UNICEF statement
- Immunisation inequities in South Asia
- 12 things you didn't know about immunisation
- Regional Immunisation Snapshot
Last update: April 2020