After calling on their governments to invest in immunization for the girl child on October 11th, and engaged them to eradicate Polio once and for all on October 24th, civil society across Africa are making sure Pneumonia vaccines are high on the agenda on November 12th.
In commemorating World Pneumonia Day, organizations in over ten countries are calling for more domestic financing to Pneumonia vaccines, routine immunization programs and strengthening of health systems.
Immunization remains the most effective strategy to prevent Pneumonia even though it is a treatable disease. Yet the disease is still not getting the much-need attention it deserves and continues to be the lead killer disease of children under five years; more than Malaria, HIV/AIDS and Measles combined.
“We need to raise more awareness and push our governments to increase local financing for immunization, improve the policies and expand coverage of routine immunization programs so that all children can benefit, because too many children continue to die from Pneumonia.” Says Abdul Swaray from Children Advocacy Forum – Sierra Leone.
More than 1 million children’s lives could be saved every year if prevention and treatment interventions for Pneumonia were widely introduced in the world’s poorest countries especially in Africa and South Asia.
Some countries like Kenya, Uganda and Zambia have developed district, state and national plans to intensify actions for the control of Pneumonia. Many more have integrated Pneumonia specific actions into their national child health and child survival strategies.
These efforts are still shy of the investments required to meet the Global Vaccince Action Plans and for the disease to be eradicated completely. Only greater political will and greater domestic ressources will ensure the Addis Declaration on Immunization that Africa heads of states endorsed in January 2017 is not just words, but truly serves to keep children alive.
1. Concern Health Education Project (Ghana),
2. Muslim Family Counseling Services (Ghana),
3. AFRIVAC (Senegal),
4. Community Restoration Initiative Project (Uganda),
5. Community Health and Research Initiative (Nigeria),
6. Nigerian Women Agro Allied Farmers Association (Nigeria),
7. PROVARESSC (Cameroon),
8. Coalition 15 (Cameroon),
9. KANCO (Kenya)
10. FENOS-CI (Côte d’Ivoire),
11. Public Health Initiative Liberia (Liberia),
12. POSSAV (Guinea),
13. Malawi Health Equity Network (Malawi),
14. Children Advocacy Forum Sierra Leone & Focus 1000 (Sierra Leone),
International organizations and institutions lending their voice to the campaign are WHO AFRO, the New Venture Fund, CoMo and GAVI.