African Civil Society Organisations demand accountability for Immunisation

Accra, Sixteen Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) more than 10 African countries have launched ’33 Days power up immunisation campaign to hold governments accountable for the multiple promises made to support immunisation, the Addis Declaration on Immunisation.

The CSOs from Cameroon, CAte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Guinea, Kenya, Liberia, Malawi, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, and Uganda launched the campaign as part of this year’s International Day of the Girl Child.

A statement copied to the Ghana News Agency said immunisation ranks among the most cost-effective health interventions, for girls and boys, delivering a high ratio of health benefits – lives saved and illness prevented – to cost, especially where disease burden is high.

This means immunisation is one of the best uses of limited public funds for health. In Africa, for every $1 spent on childhood immunizations, you get $41 in economic and social benefits, the statement said.

Mr Jackson Ndegwa, the Manager of Kenya AIDS Non-Governmental Organisations Consortium and with the Vaccines, said: Over these 33 days, we will track the vaccines, track the finances, track the legislation, and ask that our governments show us how the ADI is more than a declaration, but a true instrument for achieving success.

Madam Clarisse Loe Loumou, the Board Member of the Gavi CSO Constituency, said: We must keep the momentum throughout the year, but we are also making sure that we apply heightened pressure over these 33 days that are so important for immunisation.

Madam Joyce Kilikpo Jarwolo of the Public Health Initiative in Liberia said: Civil Society must keep track of government progress towards implementation of these commitments and ensure that they deliver if we want to reach the 2020 targets as set in the Global Vaccine Action Plan.

The statement said: These key international days show not only what can be achieved through sustained and focused commitment as with Polio, but also that so much needs to be done to ensure that children do not die of Pneumonia.

The statement noted that the 33 days to Power Up Immunization campaign is a continuation of what was started with the Africa Vaccination Week and World Health Assembly.

The CSOs partaking in this campaign include Concern Health Education Project and Muslim Family Counseling Services in Ghana, AFRIVAC in Senegal, Community Restoration Initiative Project in Uganda.

Others include Community Health and Research Initiative and Nigerian Women Agro Allied Farmers Association in Nigeria, PROVARESSC and Coalition 15 in Cameroon, KANCO in Kenya.

The rest are FENOS-CI in CAte d’Ivoire, Public Health Initiative Liberia in Liberia, POSSAV in Guinea, Malawi Health Equity Network in Malawi, Children Advocacy Forum Sierra Leone, Confederation of Meningitis Organizations (CoMo), and Niyel.

Source: Ghana News Agency