Cote d'Ivoire recognises Gavi support for immunisation

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West African country recognises Vaccine Alliance role in helping country’s immunisation system recover from civil conflict

2016 Cote d'Ivoire Award

The special ceremony in Abidjan, where Cote d’Ivoire hosted the Gavi Board meeting. Credit: Gavi/2016/Mahmed Keita.

Abidjan, 7 December 2016 – Cote d’Ivoire recognised Gavi’s contribution to improving the health of the nation’s children on Thursday by presenting medals to both Gavi Board Chair Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and its CEO Dr Seth Berkley.

The awards were given at a special ceremony in Abidjan, where Cote d’Ivoire is hosting the Gavi Board meeting.

“It is an honour to save the lives of children in Africa. If we can save even one life with vaccines, it is a major achievement for us as individual but also for our communities and countries,” said Dr Ngozi after being made Commandeur of the National Order of Côte d’Ivoire, the highest award in the national honours system.

It is an honour to save the lives of children in Africa. If we can save even one life with vaccines, it is a major achievement for us as individual but also for our communities and countries. 

Gavi Board Chair Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

Dr Seth Berkley, who received the Commandeur of the National Order of Public Health medal, said: “The determination of the leaders of Côte d’Ivoire to bring the best protection possible to its communities and populations is impressive. We want to congratulate this country and its leaders for the tireless efforts to bring the national health system to the highest level of excellence.”

Key role

Five years ago, Côte d’Ivoire was hit by a civil war that claimed thousands of lives and ravaged the nation’s healthcare system. Coverage rates plummeted, leaving thousands of children unprotected from deadly diseases. Gavi played a key role in the country’s rapid recovery, ensuring access to vaccines, and helping to rebuild and improve the supply chain.

We want to congratulate this country and its leaders for the tireless efforts to bring the national health system to the highest level of excellence. 

Dr Seth Berkley, Gavi CEO

In 2014, Gavi also supported Cote d’Ivoire’s introduction of vaccines, which tackle the two biggest childhood killers – pneumonia and diarrhoea.

Earlier in the day, Côte d’Ivoire President Alassane Ouatara met with Dr Ngozi and Dr Berkley to discuss the Vaccine Alliance’s support for the country’s Expanded Programme for Immunization.

Parents

Wednesday’s ceremony celebrated the important role that parents play in increasing immunisation coverage. Diane Kebli, a young mother whose knowledge of vaccines had impressed Dr Ngozi on her visit to the Gonzagueville health centre, was made a Vaccine Ambassador.

 

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