At ONE we’ve been doing a lot of talking about vaccines this spring, but until now, we haven’t shared the perspectives of those who perhaps most clearly understand the value of vaccines: the ministers of health from Africa who run immunization campaigns in their countries and whose countries benefit from GAVI directly. Our senior Africa Outreach Manager Edith Jibunoh and Africa director Dr. Sipho Moyo recently met up with a number of ministers of health in Togo and Namibia, and they documented the ministers’ on-the-record accounts of just how important vaccines are.
“It is unacceptable and against the principles of fundamental human rights that children who are the future generations continue to die of diseases for which there are known cost effective interventions. The introduction of vaccines for the prevention of childhood killer disease has indeed made tremendous positive impact on the health of our children.
Ghana is currently implementing a program of vaccination against nine childhood killer diseases. Three additional vaccines namely, pneumococcal, rotavirus and conjugate meningococcal A vaccines are expected to be introduced in the very near future. Ghana appreciates the support and would continue to strengthen partnerships with GAVI to deliver these essential services to our children”
Joseph Yieleh Chireh (MP)
Minister for Health, Ghana
“The absolute and surest means of disease prevention remains the effective and efficient deployment of vaccines. Key to the reduction of child mortality is an expanded immunization programme. Nigeria needs the continued support of GAVI to impact positively on the health of her children”
Professor C.O. Onyebuchi Chukwu
Hon. Minister of Health, Federal Republic of Nigeria
“The whole of GAVI deserves to be supported for making vaccines accessible and preventing diseases. Prevention is a worthwhile investment because as we know it is cheaper than curing diseases, prevents suffering, avoids the cost of treatment and disrupting families. GAVI’s replenishment therefore deserves to be supported.”
Dr. Agnes Binagwaho
Minister of Health, Rwanda
“Vaccination supported by GAVI is an effective and efficient process towards diseases prevention in Sierra Leone. We are very grateful to be in partnership with GAVI, an organization that is making a difference in the lives of a special population, including adolescents and young people. GAVI is a vital organ in promoting health; it needs continued support to strengthen the related health MDGs.”
Hon. Borbor Sawyer
Deputy Minister of Health and Sanitation
“Immunization Campaigns have saved many lives in the Gambia which holds a record 86% coverage. The government of The Gambia is committed to expanding further immunization programs in order to maintain and complete our outreach to meet our nation’s visionary goals. If GAVI is successfully supported in June, we will be on our way to achieving MDG 4.”
Hon. Fatim Badjie
Hon. Minister of Health and Social Welfare
“Immunization campaigns save lives in Togo and for us to achieve our MDG Goal 4, GAVI must be successfully supported in June. All children have a right to be vaccinated. We commit to doing our part to prioritize immunization programs in our health budgets”
S.E. Komlan Mally
Minister of Health, Togo
Thanks to the French NGO Agence de Medecine and to the leadership at the West African Health Organization for facilitating our access to these inspiring leaders in Togo.
Photo: A toddler and her mom wait at a community vaccination day clinic in Narena, Mali, Credit: 2008 Adrian Brooks/Imagewise, Courtesy of IVAC at Johns Hopkins School of Public Health