Immunization is one of Eritrea’s most regarded public health service, its lasting impact surely does augment the country’s development drive.
The availability of vaccines at all times in Eritrea, ensured: the elimination of measles, the total eradication of polio, the less likeliness of any epidemic outbreaks and an all-inclusive health welfare for the Eritrean people.
As reported in previous issue of this week’s Eritrea Profile, Eritrea received an Award, for the third time, in an exceptional recognition of vaccination management, access and equity.Mr. Tedros Yehdego, EPI Manager, explains Eritrea’s massive steps forward in this specific field as follows.
- -The award
When a country conducts a vaccination or immunization campaign, there are multiple features involved if there is to be a successful conveyance of such a service. We can start by talking about vaccine provision, cold chain storage, its management, human resource engaged in the campaign and then, we most importantly talk about vaccine access and equity to all nationals.
In Uganda, Entebbe, on the 29th of August 2016, Eritrea received vaccines with a number of preconditions and must follow regulations as well as expected outcomes, from our side. And this award is given to Eritrea, because it has fulfilled all of the required WHO’s and UNICEF’s regulations especially in vaccine management, storage and delivery, followed by punctuality and appropriate storing.
This was an award in exceptional recognition in vaccine management and equitable access.
- -Third time
Yes. In 2009 Eritrea got an international recognition for high and sustainable immunization coverage, out of the 72 member countries of the Global Alliance for Vaccine and Immunization. Later on, in 2012 Eritrea received around 593,000 US dollars for notably eliminating measles; the monetary assistance was used for a second round of vaccines!
And here we are now, gathered for a third international recognition, for our remarkable performance in vaccine management.
The recognition is clearly a reflection of the country’s development drive, especially that of ensuring the health safety of nationals and also a way through which internationally set immunizations standards are correctly overseen.
It’s also an achievement that is attributed to the people of Eritrea, and also to the stakeholders that joined hands with the Government of Eritrea in promoting health safety. Therefore, definitely an attainment of a joint endeavor.
- -A thriving social service
Since this one is a social service with an irreversible impact, it has been and still is, a priority for the government and people of Eritrea. It requires a joint effort amongst stakeholders and the government’s unwavering commitment.
The plans, projects and campaigns we draft in the office are always enhanced by prodigious support. I can mention subsidization of many things, such as that of transportation, for example. The government also does its part in co-financing vaccines as they are extremely expensive, and this is an encouraging act of the government towards the cause of international health organizations.
Moreover, vaccination just like any other social service in Eritrea, it’s a universal right every child, even in the remotest areas, is rightfully entitled to.
- -People and vaccines
Our people’s awareness in health, and especially in this case, in vaccination is extraordinary. There is great understanding and a communal consciousness towards the need of having a health society. Which is why, as matter of fact, every national, in big or small community, is always lending a hand in facilitating the process.
It is stunning how even nomadic communities have a mediator that schedules vaccine days, by setting a fixed place and time for the community and professionals to come together!
People always prioritize the wellbeing of the community; they do not complain of possible transportation ordeals or prearranged work plans.
Big reason of why the State of Eritrea benefits from massive advancements in the health sectors, and less or no risks, of fatal breaks is mainly because the people is always exceedingly involved, dedicated and interested in matters related to collective wellbeing.
- -“Extratordinary awareness”
When National campaigns are conducted, awareness is raised by a multiparty determination of CSOs (Community Social Organizations), religious institutions, administrations, organizations, schools and more governmental and non-governmental establishments. Also, National media outlets assume a big role, added by artists’ creative works such as dramas, songs and more artistic works that nurture alertness.
- -No more
Most definitely, Eritrea has reached a stage were not only has eliminated certain epidemics, but also has, most importantly, attained a progressive and sustainable advancement.
This method we adopted and benefited a lot from has made our efforts in assuring a healthy society, not just for now, but for long time to come.
Therefore, intensive and continuous supervision activities are always carried out by accounted organizations.
We are very watchful of possible cross boarder viruses, contagious infections and like I mentioned earlier, the network and rate of communication between the public and health institutions is highly effective, so much so, that responsive actions are taken with swift timeliness.
Triumphs are sweet, whereas, sustainable achievements require constant exertion because they last longer and stronger, and that is what we work for.