This year’s African Vaccination Week, on the theme ‘Vaccines Work! Do Your Part!’ has been celebrated across Sierra Leone, including a major event to engage community and religious leaders, mothers and civil society organizations at the Satellite Hospital in Freetown. The event was coordinated by the Pikin to Pikin Movement and the Children’s Advocacy Forum with support from the NGO Focus 1000 and Niyel.

Around 40 women who were either pregnant or who had recently given birth attended the forum. They were sensitized on the need for them and their babies to be fully immunized according to the national schedule, which includes vaccination for all infants five times in the first year and importantly, also at 15 months, when they receive the second dose of the measles vaccine.

“Vaccines save lives and protect communities,” said Mr. Terry Balogan, Programme Manager for Immunization at the World Health Organization in Sierra Leone. “We must continue to promote routine vaccinations for all children, which are always available at the health facilities to protect children against many different diseases,” he added.

He impressed upon the benefits of vaccines for everyone, everywhere, and called on the districts with the greatest gaps in performance to do everything in their power to improve and expand vaccination coverage to reach every last child. He also reiterated the United Nations family’s continued support to the immunization programme in Sierra Leone.

For more information please visit WHO Africa website http://www.afro.who.int/