Organization of African First Ladies ask African countries to finish unfinished business


Gavi Deputy DCEO Anuradha Gupta (far left of picture) meets members of OAFLA in Addis. Credit:Gavi/2016

Addis Ababa, 31 January 2016 – The Organization of African First Ladies Against HIV/AIDS (OAFLA) has called upon all member states of the African Union to renew their efforts to reach every child with routine immunisation.

While 18 countries in Africa already reach 90% or more of children aged under-five with the basic package of childhood vaccines - diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis – most African countries have low immunisation rates. Of 19 million under-immunised children in the world, one quarter live in Africa.

During a high-level working lunch at OAFLA’s 16th General Assembly, the First Ladies highlighted the need for African countries to finish the unfinished business with children’s health.

Ministerial Conference of Immunization

From 24 to 25 February, a Ministerial Conference of Immunization under the leadership of WHO AFRO and EMRO will bring together African leaders – including health and finance ministers –in Addis Ababa.

The meeting will provide a powerful platform for governments across Africa to demonstrate their commitment to expanding access to vaccines and achieving the goals of the Global Vaccine Action Plan (GVAP) - 90% DTP3 vaccine coverage by 2020 and at least 80% vaccination coverage in every district or administrative unit.

Download African First Ladies' Call to Action 

Immunisation in Africa: did you know?

  • 22% of the world’s under-immunised children are concentrated in just four African countries (Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Nigeria and South Africa).
  • 5 countries out of 6 with DTP3 coverage rate below 50% are located in Africa.
  • In 2015, thanks to vaccines, Nigeria achieved the historic milestone of going one year without a confirmed case of wild polio – a vital step toward a polio-free Africa.
  • Africa achieved an estimated 88% reduction in measles deaths between 2000 and 2012 due the widespread use of the measles vaccine.
  • Since the introduction of the MenAfriVac vaccine against meningitis A, more than 217 million people have been protected and the disease is on the verge of being controlled in the Africa meningitis belt.


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