Zimbabwe Holds Consultative Conference on Measles and Vaccine Preventable Diseases
On May 20, 2010, Helen Keller International participated in a religious stakeholder’s summit in Zimbabwe to promote immunization within the country. Immunization coverage has dropped sharply in Zimbabwe; it is now around 50%, down from 85% just a few years ago. And, since September 2009 the country has been dealing with a measles outbreak, with 7,119 suspected cases and 384 deaths as of May 9, 2010.
One of the reasons for this drop in coverage is because of religious objections, particularly in the apostolic sects. As such, the Prime Minister of Zimbabwe organized this conference to promote vaccination within the church community, and also at the household level.
HKI is working with the government of Zimbabwe, WHO, and UNICEF to promote both vaccination and Vitamin A Supplementation, which happen concurrently.