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Gambia receives GAVI award

Jan 15, 2010, 2:59 PM | Article By: Isatou Senghore

The Expanded Programme on Immunisation under the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare last Tuesday received an award from the Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation (GAVI) for consistent high immunisation coverage over the past five years.

The award, which was presented during the last GAVI partners meeting held in Vietnam (Hanoi), was received on behalf of The Gambia by Deputy Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Health, Omar Sey.

Speaking at the presentation ceremony held at the Ministry of Health in Banjul, Madam Ramou Cole-Ceesay, Assistant Director Family Health revealed that the Expanded Programme on Immunisation (EPI) is one of the 13 programme units in The Gambia established in 1979. This, she added, is geared towards reducing childhood morbidity and mortality, due to vaccine preventable diseases like TB, Poliomyelitis, Measles, Yellow fever, and Diarrhea.

For her part, Yamundaw Jallow, EPI's Manager revealed that EPI was established in 1979 and its target diseases are TB, Poliomyelitis, Measles, Diphtheria, Pertusis (whooping cough), Tetanus, Yellow fever, Hepatitis B, Heamopilus Influenza type B and PCV-7, especially children under 0-24 months of age and mothers of childbearing age 15-49 years. 
According to her, all this was ordered through UNICEF to ensure quality and maintenance of high immunisation coverage, mobilisation of adequate resources for EPI and inadequate trained human resources at all levels.