#StayAlert Week 7: Vaccines Worked Historically and Vaccines Work Today

#StayAlert Week 7: Vaccines Worked Historically and Vaccines Work Today

This week was enriched with a number of health campaigns directed towards strengthening Global Health Security. From the first day of the week, we have been exposed to the numerous benefits of vaccines and how the world can improve its delivery. Also this week, two important diseases were highly stressed on; Malaria and Meningitis, the world recognized each deadly infection and raised red flag to improve ways to make the world free of them. Get more insights as you continue reading;

Annually, the last week of the month of April is World Immunization Week, a globally recognized week declared by WHO to increase awareness about immunizations. Every year, the immunization week campaign aims to improve actions by partners and policy makers to increase vaccination awareness and delivery so that every person, in every country of the world can be protected against deadly diseases.

With rising incidence rates, efforts have been accelerated to halt further spread of the disease, with a strong focus on prevention.

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The theme for this year’s World Immunization Week is tagged ‘Vaccines Work’ and indeed vaccines work, as the role of vaccines in epidemic preparedness was evident this week in the ongoing Meningitis outbreak across some states in the country, as well as updates on the next phase in trials for the newly developed malaria vaccines. Presently, there are 25 globally recognized vaccines for infectious diseases. By this time next year, we hope to be celebrating the success of malaria vaccine as testing commences in 2018.

Photo Source: WHO

Photo Source: WHO

Vaccines have prevented at least 10 million deaths from 2010 to 2015 and 116 million children are vaccinated every year, totaling 86% of children worldwide, according to the WHO. Efforts to ensure increased vaccine delivery to at least 90% of children worldwide and eliminate vaccine-preventable diseases in 2020 encouraged the introduction of GVAP- Global Vaccine Action Plan. The goal of GVAP is to improve the health of all people by extending the benefits of immunization through equitable access to vaccines. To read further on how vaccines work, check the WHO fact sheets on Vaccines.

Media this week focuses on the next phase of trials for the newly developed malaria vaccines, commencing in 2018 in three countries across Africa.

Updates on the ongoing Meningitis outbreak in Nigeria- the Nigerian Center for Disease Control- NCDC is improving her surveillance strategies through the development of human resources for health. With rising incidence rates, efforts have been accelerated to halt further spread of the disease, with a strong focus on prevention.

Learn how to #StaySafe from Meningitis, HERE.

While we remember to stay safe and improve our health consciousness, the importance of vaccines can never be overemphasized.

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As the world mark this year’s World Malaria Day, World Meningitis Day and World Immunization Week, the underlying message of ‘prevention’ is the common maxim. Prevention is better than cure, goes an old saying. While we remember to stay safe and improve our health consciousness, the importance of vaccines can never be overemphasized.

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