The World Health Organisation (WHO) has expressed concern over worldwide negligence of vaccination against measles and some other diseases. The information is on WHO’s official website, where the world body said 20 million children worldwide missed lifesaving vaccines such as measles, diphtheria and tetanus in the year 2018.
“This finding is contained in new data by WHO and UNICEF. Globally, since 2010, vaccination coverage with three doses of diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis (DTP3) and one dose of the measles vaccine has stalled at around 86 per cent. There is need for 95 per cent coverage globally, across countries, and communities to protect against outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases.”
The organisation revealed that most unvaccinated children live in the poorest countries, “and is disproportionately in fragile or conflict-affected states. Almost half are in just 16 countries – Afghanistan, the Central African Republic, Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Ethiopia, Haiti, Iraq, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Pakistan, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. If these children do get sick, they are at risk of the severest health consequences and least likely to access lifesaving treatment and care,’’ it warned.
It quoted Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the Director-General of WHO as saying “vaccines are very important for preventing outbreaks.” He called for increased inclusion of children across the globe to benefit from vaccination programmes, stressing that “vaccines are one of our most important tools for preventing outbreaks and keeping the world safe.