Partnerships key to immunisation success

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Despite significant challenges, Honduras has produced remarkable results in expanding its immunisation coverage

© UNICEF/NYHQ2005-2076/Donna DeCesare

Honduras has achieved what many other countries only aspire to: a near-perfect DTP3 vaccination coverage rate of 98%. In 2010, it reported zero cases of diphtheria, Hib meningitis, measles, polio and rubella.

Honduras introduced rotavirus vaccines in 2009 to reduce the incidence of diarrhoeal disease.

Two years later, GAVI helped fund the country’s roll-out of pneumococcal vaccine, in a bid to tackle the high mortality among the under-fives due to pneumonia. 

Delivering vaccines, which must be refrigerated from the moment they are manufactured up until the point they are administered, is not a straightforward task. This is especially true in Honduras, where nearly half of the rural population lacks a reliable electricity supply. 

It takes all stakeholders working in concert to achieve this level of success.

US$ 1 = US$ 18

A study in Health Affairs covering 73 Gavi-supported countries over the 2011–2020 period shows that, for every US$ 1 spent on immunisation, US$ 18 are saved in healthcare costs, lost wages and lost productivity due to illness. If we take into account the broader benefits of people living longer, healthier lives, the return on investment rises to US$ 48 per US$ 1 spent.

Ozawa S, Clark S, Portnoy A et al. Return on investment from childhood immunizations in low- and middle-income countries, 2011-20, Health Affairs 2016

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