25 million unvaccinated children in 2021 (WHO)

AA / Bamako / Amarana Maiga

Twenty-five million babies did not receive vital vaccines in 2021 worldwide, alerted the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) on Friday.

“18 million of the 25 million children have not received a single dose of DTP during the year, the vast majority of whom live in low- and middle-income countries, India, Nigeria, Indonesia, with Ethiopia and the Philippines recording the highest numbers. tall. ”, they pointed out.

The same organizations point out that “the percentage of children who received three doses of the vaccine against diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis (DTP3), a marker of vaccination coverage within and between countries, decreased 5 percentage points between 2019 and 2021 to be located at 81%

As a result, they continue, “25 million children did not receive one or more doses of DTP through routine immunization services in 2021 alone. That is 2 million more than did not receive in 2020 and 6 million more than in 2019.” , highlighting the growing number of children at risk of devastating but preventable diseases.”

Catherine Russell, Executive Director of UNICEF, explains that “this decline is due to many factors, including an increased number of children living in conflict zones and fragile areas where access to vaccination is often difficult, increased misinformation and related issues. with COVID-19 such as service and supply chain disruptions, diversion of resources to response and containment efforts, measures that limit access and availability of immunization services.”

“This is a red alert for children’s health. We are seeing the largest sustained decline in childhood immunizations in a generation. The consequences will be measured in lives,” said Catherine Russell, Executive Director of UNICEF.

“Globally, more than a quarter of the HPV vaccine coverage achieved in 2019 has been lost. This has serious implications for the health of women and girls, as global coverage of the first dose of the vaccine against the human papillomavirus (HPV) is only 15%, although the first vaccines were authorized there more than 15 years ago,” he continues.

Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director General of the WHO, for his part, indicated that “this historic decline in vaccination rates occurs in the context of a rapid increase in rates of severe acute malnutrition.”

“A malnourished child already has weakened immunity and missed vaccinations can mean that common childhood illnesses quickly become deadly for them. The convergence of a hunger crisis with a growing immunization deficit threatens to create the conditions for a child survival crisis,” she added.

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