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RotaFlash: Spotlight on Africa around World Immunization Week

7 May 2014

Please click 
RotaFlash for the full e-newsletter available online, which contains images and links to more resources.
 
Ethiopia highlights “shared responsibility” of vaccination and the Republic of the Congo, Angola, and Madagascar roll out rotavirus vaccines
 
African Vaccination Week (AVW), April 22-27, which is one of the regional components of the World Health Organization’s World Immunization Week (WIW) campaign, is an important forum for promoting the benefits of immunization and the delivery of life-saving vaccines to children.  PATH’s office in Ethiopia worked with partners to help organize a special AVW ceremony on April 23, 2014 in the town of Gondor in the Amhara region of Ethiopia. PATH played a key role in facilitating the ceremony, which included an original children’s song on immunization, a traditional band and dance performance, and national and international delegates.

To view the photos, please click here

PATH’s key note address, delivered by Metchal Gebreyesus, Immunization Partnership and Communications Officer for Vaccine Access and Delivery in PATH’s Ethiopia office, noted the tremendous advances in Ethiopia: “Vaccines are among the most effective, affordable, and beneficial tools in global health.  Progress in Ethiopia has been truly phenomenal. Every year, more vaccines reach more Ethiopian children. Health system improvements and the mobilization of thousands of health extension workers – and now a health development army – provide best practice examples for countries around the world.”

Reflecting the AVW 2014 theme of “shared responsibility,” the Government of Ethiopia, PATH, and other partners are working to improve vaccination coverage in mountainous and remote regions. PATH has collaborated with the Afar regional Health Bureau and Afar Regional Islamic Affairs Office to sensitize more than 100 imams to the importance of immunization. As a result of these efforts, imams are now disseminating immunization messages to their communities twice a month through their local mosques.

Read more about PATH’s efforts in Metchal’s blog “In Ethiopia, Muslim leaders encourage vaccination.”

The Republic of the Congo, Angola, and Madagascar roll out rotavirus vaccines

Three more countries in Africa — the Republic of the Congo, Angola, and Madagascar — introduced rotavirus vaccines into their national immunization programs around AVW, bringing the global total to 58 countries, 19 of which are in Africa. Fifteen of those African countries have introduced rotavirus vaccines with GAVI support.

The Republic of the Congo launched rotavirus vaccines into its national immunization program on April 24, 2014:

To view the photo, please click here

Angola launched rotavirus vaccines into its national immunization program on April 28, 2014:

To view the photo, please click here

Madagascar launched rotavirus vaccines into its national immunization program on May 5, 2014: 

To view the photo, please click here

For more information on rotavirus disease and vaccine in these countries, please see PATH’s Rotavirus disease and vaccines fact sheets for:

Republic of the Congo: English | French

Angola: English

Madagascar: English | French

For more information on rotavirus vaccines generally, please visit PATH’s Rotavirus vaccine access and delivery website.

PATH collaborates on rotavirus vaccine activities with the CDC, WHO, UNICEF, vaccine manufacturers, and countries around the world. RotaFlash is funded by the GAVI Alliance.

For information on rotavirus disease and vaccines and to access the RotaFlash archives, please visit the website. For information on diarrheal disease, please visit DefeatDD’s website. For information on the GAVI Alliance’s support for rotavirus vaccine introduction, please click here.


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