The World Health Organization’s Coordinator for Programme and Impact Monitoring in the Department of Immunization, Vaccines and Biologicals, Dr. Thomas Cherian predicts that 26 million deaths from vaccine-preventable diseases could be averted in the next decade, but only if national governments act now. While speaking at the Excellence in Paediatrics Conference hosted by Sidra Medical and Research Center in Qatar, he advocated for the following steps to be taken to achieve this goal:
- Generate political commitment and promote country ownership of national immunization programs, ensuring better governance, adequate investments, and a strong emphasis on evidence for prioritization and planning at the national level.
- Strengthen immunization systems and promote greater integration with broader health systems.
- Increase access to an affordable supply of quality vaccines to all populations.
- Improve the availability and quality of data and information to monitor performance.
- Empower pediatricians to create awareness, allay fears, and use every contact with children and families to check and immunize when it is indicated.
“While immunization already prevents millions of deaths and uncounted illnesses, we must continue working together in supporting countries to deliver life-saving vaccines to people in every community and in every country,” added Dr. Thomas Cherian. He continued, “Together, we can make the Global Vaccine Action Plan vision ― a world in which all individuals and communities enjoy lives free from vaccine-preventable diseases ― a reality.”
As part of Sidra’s mission to provide world-class medical education to healthcare professionals in Qatar and across the region, Sidra partnered with the Excellence in Paediatrics Institute to bring their flagship conference to the Middle East for the first time. While opening the event, Sidra Chief Executive Officer Dr. William Owen said, “The common thread for us all is to achieve greatness by nurturing the potential of the individual. And building potential begins with creating and maintaining health among our children and for our children yet to be born. I see education, which is the mission of this event, as being the first step in this.”
EiP is the first of many international-caliber events Sidra will bring to Doha to ensure that best-quality education is available to all, which includes sponsoring a number of pediatricians from emerging markets to attend the events.
Source: The Sacramento Bee