Brazzaville marks Congo's first pneumococcal vaccinations

in page functions

At a special ceremony at the Marian Ngoubai Health Centre in Brazzaville, Congo became the 15th sub-Saharan African country to introduce pneumococcal vaccine into its Expanded Programme on Immunisation (EPI).

11 October 2012


Some 200 Congolese mothers watched as children received Congo's first-ever doses of pneumococcal vaccine. 


First Lady Antoinette Sassou Nguesso put on a doctor's white coat and vaccinated one child herself. With pneumonia listed as the second cause of death in children aged less than five, pneumococcal vaccine will significantly reduce child mortality.


The Italian Ambassador in Brazzaville, Nicolo Tassoni Estense, addresses the ceremony.  Italian funding - together with support from Canada, Norway, the Russian Federation, the UK and the BMGF - was instrumental in setting-up the Advance Market Commitment which encouraged manufacturers to produce large quantities of pneumococal vaccine for developing countries.


Marianne Flach, UNICEF representative to Congo emphasised the critical role of parents in recognising pneumonia in its early stages and immediately taking the infected child to a local health centre for appropriate care.


Support from UNICEF, WHO and GAVI has helped Congo's Health Ministry train vaccination managers and health workers to face the day to day challenges of introducing a new vaccine.


By the end of 2012, the EPI expects to immunise more than 160,000 Congolese children, aged between two and 11 months.

close icon

modal window here