25/04/2015 09:41 GMT+7 Email Print Like 0

Vietnam observes WHO Immunisation Week

Hanoi, April 24 (VNA) – A ceremony was held on April 24 in northern Bac Giang province to kick-start the Immunisation Week 2015 in Vietnam. Event participants included Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam, Minister of Health Nguyen Thi Kim Tien and representatives from ministries, sectors and localities.

The event, co-hosted by the Ministry of Health and local authorities, is part of promotion activities to increase awareness of the importance of immunisations in protecting community health.

It also aims to mobilise the active participation of authorities at all levels, international and domestic organisations and the community in national vaccination campaigns to protect vulnerable children and prevent and control vaccine-preventable diseases from spreading widely.

Addressing the ceremony, Minister Tien highlighted the significance of vaccines in controlling infectious diseases, minimising mortality rates and protecting human health over the past two decades.

More than 30 communicable diseases can be prevented by vaccinations, she said, stressing the importance of vaccines in preventing the reoccurrence of these diseases in Vietnam.

Meanwhile, Deputy PM Dam attached the significance to the contribution of the Vaccination Week programme to health protection.

He also called on the community to be aware of the importance of vaccines in child health, as well as urged relevant bodies to work with the health sector to ensure effective implementation of the national expanded immunisation programmes.

A representative from the United Nations Children’s Fund suggested Vietnam integrate its vaccination programmes with other healthcare services to mitigate missing-out possibility.

In addition to developing a system to provide vaccination services and build capacity for staff, the country should also expand publicity campaigns to raise awareness of the importance of immunisations and build trust in the community regarding vaccination.

Participants attended a number of campaigns and witnessed a vaccine injection held immediately after the ceremony at the healthcare centre in Song Mai commune.

The Immunisation Week 2015 is launched by the World Health Organisation (WHO) in the West Pacific Ocean Region from April 24 to 30 to inspire global efforts to protect community health through timely and comprehensive vaccinations.

Hundreds of millions of children across the country have received free basic vaccines through large-scale national free vaccine programmes over the past 30 years.

Vietnam has remained poliomyelitis- and new borne tetanus-free since 2000 and 2005, respectively, and kept other infectious diseases under control, minimising mortality rates from diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus and measles.

It has undertaken drastic measures to eliminate measles with a nationwide programme covering 20 million children.

WHO experts recently announced that the Vietnamese vaccine safety surveillance programme meets WHO requirements, evidence of the quality of domestic vaccines and contributing to realising global goals to eliminate poliomyelitis by 2018, measles by 2020 and bring the hepatitis B-infection rate in children-under-five to below one percent in the West Pacific Ocean Region by 2017.