The Cameroon Baptist Convention (CBC) Health Services has introduced stakeholders to the Expanded Program on Immunization (EPI) a new initiative dubbed “Reaching and Adapting Immunization Services Effectively for Zero-Dose Children (ZDC) in the Sahel Region (RAISE 4 ZDC in Sahel)”.
The introductory session which was held in Yaoundé on July 27, 2022, ensured that participants/stakeholders understand the initiative and eventual contributions they will make for a successful implementation. The session introduced the Gavi Zero-Dose Children (ZDC) initiative to partners under EPI and the Ministry of Health-who explored ways to work collaboratively for the implementation of the project.
This immunization initiative seeks to support National efforts toward achieving the WHO’s 2030 Agenda for Immunization by strengthening country strategies to reach Zero Dose Children and communities by 2025 and to meet the Immunization Agenda (IA) 2030.
Immunization Agenda (IA) 2030 is supported by the Vaccine Alliance, Gavi, whose central vision 2021-2025 places priority on reaching out to the most marginalized and vulnerable populations. Statistics show that an estimated 1.3 million zero-dose children live in fragile and conflict settings, often outside of Government’s reach in 12 countries across the Sahel region and the Horn of Africa”, Cameroon inclusive.
Despite tremendous vaccination investment coordinated by the National Enlarged Program for Immunization (EPI) in Cameroon and due to multiple anthropological, social, economic, and security challenges, many children still do not have access to vaccines, thereby increasing the chance of facing diseases preventable with vaccines, necessitating the RAISE 4 ZDC in Sahel initiative in the country with the CBC Health Services as implementing partner.
The CBC Health Services building from its outstanding experience in providing community health in Cameroon will be leading the implementation of the Zero Dose initiative over the next four years in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and the National Enlarged Program for Immunization, in 6 Regions (Far-North, North, Adamaoua, Southwest, Northwest, and East).
It is worth noting that Immunization is a success story for global health and development saving millions of lives every year. Between 2010 and 2018, 23 million deaths were averted with the Measles vaccine alone.
The number of infants vaccinated annually – more than 116 million, or 86% of all infants born – has reached the highest level ever reported. More than 20 life-threatening diseases can now be prevented by immunization. Since 2010, 116 countries have introduced vaccines that they did not use previously, including those against major killers like Pneumococcal Pneumonia, Diarrhea, Cervical Cancer, Typhoid, Cholera, and Meningitis.