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‘Let’s fight infant mortality collectively’

FIRST Lady Esther Lungu inoculating a baby during the African vaccination week regional launch at Matero First Level Hospital in Lusaka yesterday. PICTURE: THOMAS NSAMA/STATE HOUSE.

SITEMBILE SIWAWA & SLYVESTER CHISHIMBA, Lusaka
FIRST Lady Esther Lungu yesterday launched the African vaccination week with a pledge to support efforts to reduce child and infant mortality.
Mrs Lungu called for a strong partnership between Government and stakeholders to prevent infant mortality.
The theme of the 2015 African vaccination week is: `Vaccination a Gift for Life’. The exercise starts today and ends on April 30.
Mrs Lungu commended Government for the positive strides taken in ensuring that every child is vaccinated.
“The Zambia Demographic Health Survey of 2014 indicates that there has been significant reduction in the under-five mortality rate from 119 per 1,000 live births in 2007 to 75 per 1,000 live births in 2014 and infant mortality reduced from 70 to 45 per 1,000 live births during the same period,” she added.
And World Health Organisation regional director Matshidiso Moeti said the African vaccination week provides an opportunity to strengthen public awareness and demand for immunisation by communities.
United Nations Children’s Fund country representative Hamid El-Bashir Ibrahim said about 30 percent of children aged between zero to five years in Zambia still do not get vaccinated.
Dr Ibrahim said there is need to improve the immunisation coverage in the country.

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