Mark World Immunization Week 2024: Improving health standards

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World Immunization Week 2024, observed from 24 to 30 April, carries the theme “Humanly Possible: Saving lives through immunization.” This year’s focus is on reducing the fatality rate of preventable diseases through immunization, ultimately ensuring a brighter future for our children.
The World Health Organization emphasizes that this year’s World Immunization Week celebrates 50 years of the Expanded Programme on Immunization (EPI). It acknowledges our collective efforts to save and improve countless lives from vaccine-preventable diseases. The WHO calls on countries to increase investments in immunization programs to protect future generations.
Between 2010 and 2018, measles vaccinations alone prevented 23 million deaths worldwide. Regular vaccination has prevented more than 20 life-threatening diseases and spared 24 million people from falling into poverty due to health expenses. Every dollar spent on measles vaccination yields a return on investment of $76.5.
During the immunization week held in Nay Pyi Taw and regions/states between 24 and 30 April, there was a double increase in vaccine coverage compared to 2021. Cooperation with relevant officials in primary healthcare services, including vaccination processes, was emphasized. Thanks to immunization projects, the World Health Organization recognized Myanmar as tetanus-free in 2010 and polio-free in 2014.
Recently, the Union Health Minister and party observed Special Immunization Activities for children, including Buddhist novices and nuns under 15, at Shwethaephyu Monastery in Dekkhinathiri Township. Immunization processes with a catch-up method for children under five were also conducted at Zeyathiri Township, urging all people to join hands in the immunization process together with authorities for the health conditions of their children.
Myanmar must improve its immunization coverage to prevent outbreaks of diseases such as COVID-19. Departmental officials need to enhance cooperation with local authorities to improve primary healthcare services. Moreover, the government procures vaccines annually to immunize people of all ages across the nation according to schedules. This ensures that people are protected from the impacts of pandemics triggered by communicable diseases. Therefore, local authorities must organize residents to ensure that children receive vaccinations and immunizations on time.
It is the time for all Myanmar citizens to benefit from proper healthcare services, including necessary immunization projects implemented by the Public Health Department, Medical Services Department, Traditional Medicine Department, and other healthcare institutions managed by the government and private sectors. Consequently, everyone, including authorities, must create an environment conducive to nurturing healthy and fit children, free from infectious diseases and pandemic outbreaks.

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