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Minister: Children`s immunization coverage satisfactory

11th December 2012
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Hussein Mwinyi

The government has urged partners and stakeholders in the country to join the National Immunization Coordination Committee to ensure that all children in Tanzanian are covered.

This was said yesterday in Dar es Salaam by the Minister of Health and Social Welfare Hussein Mwinyi during the opening of the 4th Annual Regional Conference on Immunization, focusing on how to strengthen the delivery of immunization services in all Member States in the African Region.

“Immunization is an important component in health systems and a key strategy to reducing child mortality, improve maternal health and combat diseases, therefore it is for this reason that we need to work together as a region to ensure all children receive Immunization Services in Africa,” said Mwinyi.

Mwinyi also added that the government has ensured that all children who are not vaccinated receive immunization services especially in rural areas so as to protect them from various diseases diarrhea and pneumonia.

“We know there are still children who are not vaccinated or under vaccinated and the accumulation of these unvaccinated children is the cause of measles outbreaks in the country, therefore, our mission is to build on past achievements and use our knowledge and experience to save more children’s lives,” explained Mwinyi.

Moreover he explained that in three consecutive years, Tanzania has successfully reached 90 percent of the immunization vaccination services in the country including rural and urban areas.

“The approach of reaching every district or every child has made Tanzania routine immunization vaccination coverage to be above 80% in most of the districts in the country in five consecutive years and above 90% at national level in three consecutive years,” said Mwinyi.

Meanwhile, on behalf of Regional Director for Africa of World Health Organization (WHO) Luis Sambo, WHO representative in Tanzania congratulated Tanzania for the introduction of the two new vaccines against rotavirus diarrhea and pneumococcal (pneumonia) in the routine immunization programme.

These two big achievements are the perfect illustration of the progress that the country has made in improving its immunization programme.

He however urged the Minister of health and stakeholders to continue to identify and implement locally innovative strategies to improve access to quality immunization.

SOURCE: THE GUARDIAN