The World Health Organization (WHO) has donated two vehicles to the Ministry of Health (MOH) for use in North Western and Eastern provincial medical offices respectively.
WHO Country Representative Olusegun Babaniyi said the donated vehicles are aimed at helping in the sensitization and disease surveillance activities of vaccine preventable diseases.
Dr. Babaniyi said the country’s polio and measles immunization programmes are well established with national immunization coverage rate for all vaccines above 80 percent contributing to the reduction of child mortality in the country.
He has further stated that the gesture has come at the right time as the African region is celebrating the world immunization week from 21 to 28th April 2012 under the theme ‘an unimmunized child is one too many.’
Dr. Babaniyi noted that the focus of the vaccination week is on strengthening national immunization programme in the countries by rising community awareness on value and importance of immunization so as to create demand from the community.
He added that the continuous attack on babies by measles in Zambia has prompted the Ministry of Health in partnership with WHO to prepare for a country wide campaign in July 2012 to protect more children between 6 months and 15 years by giving them measles vaccination.
Dr. Babaniyi further thanked the Zambian government for adopting the strategies for polio eradication and elimination of measles that have been implemented over the past years.
And speaking at the same event Eastern Province Provincial Medical Coordinator Kennedy Malama thanked WHO for the donation.
Dr. Malama said the vehicles will help in surveillance which is one of the four strategies for polio eradication and elimination of measles as it remains the bedrock strategy which provides evidence that there are no wild polio measles viruses circulating in the country.
He has further assured WHO that the two provinces will make sure that the vehicles are used for their intended purposes.