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World Immunization Week celebration “Closing the Immunization Gap: Vaccination for all"

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H.E Minister of Health speaking in the World Immunization Week celebrationH.E Minister of Health speaking in the World Immunization Week celebration30 April 2015 – The Ministry of Health of Jordan, World Health Organization and UNICEF launched World Immunization Week with acelebration event on Sunday 26 April 2015 under the theme of “Closing the Immunization Gap: Vaccination for All”.

H.E. Minister of Health Dr Ali Hyasat spoke at the event and stated that vaccination against communicable diseases was one of the main priorities of the Ministry of Health. The Minister noted achievements in the national vaccination programme to date and highlighted the importance of routine and supplementary immunization in protecting families against debilitating and sometimes fatal diseases.

H.E. Dr Hyasat thanked WHO and UNICEF for their efforts in boosting immunization coverage in Jordan, particularly in response to outbreaks of polio in the region in 2013 and 2014, and mass population influxes into the country. The Minister also took the opportunity to reveal that the Ministry of Health had introduced a new vaccine which safeguards against rotavirus, an illness causing severe diarrhoea and dehydration in infants and children.

World Health Organization Representative to Jordan Dr Maria Cristina Profili and UNICEF Representative in Jordan Mr Robert Jenkins also spoke at the event, congratulating the Ministry and health partners on successes in the immunization programme and stressing the need for continued vigilance and collaboration in order to maintain optimal vaccination coverage in Jordan.

“World Immunization Week offers WHO, governments and other health partners the chance to raise awareness around0Z2A0553_LargeDr Profili administrating polio vaccine to a child in a health centre vaccine-preventable illnesses and to stimulate immunization action in our Region,” said Dr Profili. “We need to further formalize and expand immunization partnerships, explore possibilities for innovative financing, and to engage and collaborate with communities, the media and the private sector to keep immunization high on the health agenda,” she said.

“For all of us in the business of saving children’s lives, World Immunization Week is an opportunity to renew our commitment and partnerships for the coming months and years, till we vaccinate every child in the kingdom,” said Mr Jenkins. “All campaigns and routine immunization activities are closely linked to Jordan’s National Action Plan to end preventable maternal and neonatal deaths focusing on delivering the right interventions at the right time where they are needed the most—during labour, childbirth and the first days of life,” he added.

World Immunization Week in Jordan coincides with the last in a series of 8 mass polio vaccination campaigns. During the final campaign vaccination teams are targeting approximately 200 000 children under five years of age in high-risk areas of Jordan.

Each year, worldwide, around 22 million infants, including 3 million in the WHO Eastern Mediterranean Region miss out on receiving the basic vaccines they need to protect them. One in every five children is not protected and as a result, 1.5 million children around the world die every year. These deaths could largely be prevented with better vaccination coverage. In order to close the immunization gap, it is essential to ensure immunization is integrated with other health services, and that health systems are strong and robust enough to adequately serve their populations, so that every last child is reached and services are accessible and affordable to all.

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Key health-related statistics

Total population in thousands 10 053
Total expenditure on health (% of general government expenditure) 13.7
Maternal mortality ratio (per 100 000 live births) 58
Primary health care units and centres (per 10 000 population) 6.9
Life expectancy 74.3

Source: Framework for health information systems and core indicators for monitoring health situation and health system performance, 2018

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