World Immunization week is here again. It started on the 24th and will go through to the 30th of April. According to Margaret Chan, Director General of WHO, the immunization last year led to notable wins in the fight against polio, rubella and maternal and neonatal tetanus.

Immunization averts 2 to 3 million deaths annually. It is believed that this year, as countries around the world comply with the immunization of their citizens, several diseases would be eliminated.

During this week, the World Health Organization wants to remind adults and children that a simple shot can prevent all kinds of diseases.

Benefits of World Immunization week last year:
– India joined Cambodia, Madagascar and Mauritania in eliminating maternal and neonatal tetanus.
– Africa became one-step closer to being certified polio-free with the removal of Nigeria from the list of polio-endemic countries. As recently as 2012, the country accounted for more than half of all polio cases worldwide. Now, only two countries – Afghanistan and Pakistan – remain polio endemic.
– America became the first to eliminate rubella, a contagious viral disease that can cause multiple birth defects as well as fetal death when contracted by women during pregnancy.
– A vaccine, immunization of more than 230 million people has led to the control and near elimination of deadly meningitis A disease in the African “meningitis belt” that stretches from Senegal to Ethiopia.

Author: Ope Adedeji