Ethiopia to Celebrate the 6th Annual African Vaccination Week

By World Health Organization (WHO) - Ethiopia

WHAT:African Vaccination Week [This year's theme: "Close the Immunization Gap; Stay Polio Free"]

WHEN: Launch:18 May 2016 Week-long commemoration: 18-24 May 2016 WHERE:National Launching in Assosa, Benishangul Gumuz Region BUT the AVW will be commemorated nationwide with a series of events

WHO: The AVW launching event is co-hosted by the Ministry of Health and the Regional Health Bureau of the Benishangul Gumuz Region with the support of immunization partners including WHO and UNICEF Please confirm using one of the addresses in the Contacts list (right of page)

For more information about AVW, please read below and also visit the AVW website More on the 6th AVW in Ethiopia

Every year since 2011, theAfrican Vaccination Week (AVW) is commemorated in countries of the African Region alongside World Immunization Week to draw attention to the need to immunize all communities and ensure universal immunization coverage. Ethiopia will mark the 6th AVW on 18-24 May 2016 with the Regional theme “Close the Immunization Gap; Stay Polio Free'' and slogan “Vaccinated communities; Healthy communities''. The theme draws attention on the need to attain universal immunization coverage in the African Region by closing the immunization gap. It is also a celebration of the important polio eradication milestone that has been reached in the African Region, and calls on countries to stay vigilant in the fight against polio, and stay polio free. The national launching will takes place in Assosa town of Benishangul-Gumuz region on May 18, 2016 in the presence of H.E. State Minister of Health Ethiopia, President of Benishangul-Gumuz Regional State, communities and representative from immunization partners including WHO and UNICEF. The event will continue throughout the week with a serious of events. The general objective of AVW is to advocate for strengthening of routine immunization through intensified advocacy, social mobilization and immunization activities that will further lead the country to Africa's commitment to achieving universal vaccination focusing on regions, zones and Woredas with high number of unvaccinated children. The AVW will be an opportunity to increase awareness of the importance of vaccination as well as to celebrate the country's important progresses made to date. More than two years have passed since the onset of paralysis of the last case of wild polio virus (WPV) in January 05, 2014 and Ethiopia is currently in polio free status. This year, Africa United, a campaign led by a coalition of African leaders and legendary footballers, is joining immunization partners, including World Health Organization Regional Office for Africa (WHO AFRO) for African Vaccination Week 2016 to highlight AVW's activities through the “Every Shot Counts” initiative to amplify the education and advocacy efforts that are helping to close the immunization gap. The AVW national launching is expected to bring together participants including the MoH, immunization partners, political leaders from regions, zones and Woredas and the communities. The launching sessions will cover a variety of activities, including key note address by Honorable State Minister of Health Dr Kebede Worku, speeches by key immunization partners and vaccination session. A full list of speakers will be announced shortly.