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African Vaccination Week – A weapon of hope for protection against diseases

Vaccination – This is a term that we cannot emphasize enough, especially after the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The current pandemic has taught humanity just how important vaccination is, and how getting vaccinated is the most important weapon that humanity has to protect itself against severe and life-threatening diseases. A live example of the importance of vaccination is showcased by its contribution towards the curbing of the COVID-19 pandemic.

You will be amazed to know that countries that have made more than half of their total population vaccinated are now witnessing a daily fall in the number of COVID cases. Imagine if vaccinations can be this beneficial in battling a pandemic, how much safer it can make us when it comes to protection from other life-threatening diseases like Hepatitis, HPV, Meningitis, and many others.

The World Health Organisation launched the African Vaccination week to curb the spread of various illnesses, infections, and diseases and immunize the population of Africa to make the people healthier.

This year’s African Vaccination Week is celebrated between the 19th and the 25thof April, and is executed and planned by the World Health Organization’s African Regional representative. The slogan of Vaccination Week, as declared by the WHO is “Vaccinated Communities, Healthy Communities.”

Why is the African Vaccination Week important?

This slogan makes complete sense when we talk about dangerous bacterial, viral as well as communal spread infections, that turn into epidemics and pandemics when left unwatched. The continent of Africa is a witness to the wrath that communal diseases can cause in a particular region, form consistently occurring Malaria outbreaks to a rare but incredibly fatal disease outbreak like Ebola, the communal transmission increases the severity and the state of the disease. Vaccination is proven to be highly helpful in eradicating a disease from its root and making communities, regions, and the population safe from the risks and dangers of some diseases.

Who needs to get vaccinated?

The need for vaccination cannot be understated for adults, but it is extremely vital for children and infants to get vaccinated as early as possible. While adults also have the strength of their immune system to help them tackle infectious diseases, infants and children are yet to fully develop this. In such a case, getting vaccinated can be a weapon of safety against diseases for them. Vaccination in children makes them safe against the fatal and long-term effects of any of the following diseases that can give them lifelong illnesses and disabilities.

The Global Vaccination coverage currently provides effective protection against the following diseases:

– Haemophilus Influenzae Type B (HIB) (Known to cause Pneumonia and Meningitis)

– Hepatitis B
– Human Papilloma virus (HPV) (Known to cause Cervical Cancer in Women)

– Meningitis A

– Mumps

– Measles

– Pneumococcal Diseases

– Polio

– Rotaviruses

– Rubella

– Tetanus

– Yellow Fever

– Diptheria

Studies and years of research have proved that vaccination of a certain population is powerful enough to eradicate the existence of a particular disease. If communities consciously take a step towards the protection and well-being of their families by making vaccination a priority, it can be a leap towards the betterment of current and future generations.

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