Guy Bokongo Nkumu, Senior Policy & Advocacy Officer, PATH.
Today, almost 1 in 5 children around the world do not get the vaccines they need, and many of those missing out live in Africa. In order to close this immunization gap and ensure that every woman and child in Africa can receive lifesaving vaccines, African leaders must invest in immunization supply chains.
Last month, leaders from eleven West and Central African countries gathered in Cote d’Ivoire to develop a roadmap to promote expanded coverage, equitable access, and sustainable financing for lifesaving immunization programs by strengthening immunization supply chains.
The conference in Cote d’Ivoire built on the pledges and commitments from the first Ministerial Conference on Immunization in Africa and provided a unique platform for decision-makers to develop roadmaps to enhance immunization supply chains in their respective countries. Each roadmap included key elements to maintain an efficient, robust supply chain, such as investments in cold chain equipment to maintain the potency of vaccines and improvements in logistics systems to ensure vaccines reach every woman and child.
At the culmination of the conference, country representatives released a Call to Action to demonstrate their leadership and political commitment to supply chain innovations in order to advance broader health outcomes for all communities across the African continent.
PATH welcomes the commitments and pledges government officials made to address the underlying challenges impacting immunization supply chains, and encourages them to implement their roadmaps to improve immunization coverage and access for all women and children.
To learn more about the important role that African and world health leaders play in closing the immunization gap, watch this video from PATH and the World Health Organization’s Regional Office for Africa: