The Ministry of Health (MOH) will hold several activities to response to the World Immunisation Week 2015 launched by the World Health Organisation (WHO) in the Western Pacific Region from April 24-30.

The event aims to promote the use of vaccines to protect peopleagainst diseases, intensify monitoring vaccine-preventable diseases and eliminate poliomyelitis, introduce new and updated vaccines and develop future vaccine generations.

This year’s campaign focuses on closing the immunisation gap and reaching equity in immunisation levels as outlined in the Global Vaccine Action Plan (GVAP). The Plan – endorsed by the 194 Member States of the World Health Assembly in May 2012 ― is a framework towards preventing millions of deaths by 2020 through universal access to vaccines.

According to the Department of Preventive Medicine under the MOH, infectious diseases have developed and become increasingly complex in recent years, leaving infants and children more vulnerable than ever and necessitating comprehensive and timely immunisations.

The department asserted that immunisation is widely recognised as one of the most successful and cost-effective health interventions. It prevents between 2 and 3 million deaths every year and protects children against diphtheria, tetanus, polio and measles as well as two of the leading causes of death of children under five, pneumonia and rotavirus diarrhoea.

Adolescents and adults can also be protected against life-threatening diseases such as influenza, meningitis, and cancers (cervical and liver), thanks to new vaccines.

World Immunization Week 2015 will signal a renewed global, regional, and national effort to increase awareness and demand for immunisations and improve vaccination delivery services.-VNA