Immunization saves millions of lives every year. This year, the World Immunization Week takes on greater significance than ever since the Covid-19 outbreak reveals what is at stake when communities do not have the protective shield of immunization against an infectious disease. The global pandemic is a stark reminder of how fast an outbreak can spread without a vaccine to protect people and communities.
In support of Lebanon’s efforts to maintain a successful immunization programme, the European Union, through the EU regional Trust Fund “Madad”, has contributed an additional 10 million Euro to ensure the provision of routine immunization vaccines to all children living in Lebanon.
The European Union continues to support basic health services in Lebanon, including vaccination. While the EU has recently focused its efforts in supporting Lebanon in fighting the CODIV-19 pandemic, it also continues to provide much needed support to ensure general health coverage for everyone in need.
Today, regardless of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Ministry of Public Health in partnership with UNICEF and the EU, is ensuring the continuation of the quality routine immunization services across all immunization points in the primary health care network in Lebanon.
As a response, UNICEF equipped all PHCs centres with personal protective equipment to allow safe and infection free environment for both the health workers and patients. Strong supply chains, trained health workers, data systems, disease surveillance, and health awareness was also ensured. As a result, throughout the month of February 2020 alone, 44,679 children were vaccinated.
UNICEF with the support of the European Union, will continue to play a pivotal role in supporting Lebanon’s current and future immunization efforts. Vaccines keep children healthy and alive by protecting them against diseases, and every child that receives his or her scheduled vaccination is a potential life saved.