Immunization and Vaccines Development


The Immunization and Vaccines Development Programme provides technical support to countries in the African Region in order to contribute to the reduction of disease, disability and death due to vaccine preventable diseases.

Affordable and effective vaccine brings Africa close to elimination of meningitis A
WHO/R. Barry
For a century, epidemics of meningococcal A meningitis, a bacterial infection of the lining of the brain and spinal cord, have swept across 26 countries in sub-Saharan Africa killing and disabling young people every year. The disease is highly feared on the continent; it can kill or cause severe brain damage within hours.

WHO Director-General, Dr. Margaret Chan (2nd from left), the WHO Regional Director for Africa, Dr. Matshidiso Moeti (3rd from right), the Executive Director of Nigeria Primary Health Care Development Agency, Dr. Ado Mohammed (centre) with Nigerian Government delegation, and the WHO Polio Eradication Programme Coordinator for African Region, Dr. Pascal Mkanda (far right) at the announcement of Nigeria removal from polio endemic list of countriesNew York, 25 September 2015 | The Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO), Dr. Margaret Chan announced the removal of Nigeria, the then only remaining endemic country in the African Region, from the list of polio endemic countries at the Polio Oversight Board Meeting in New York, USA. This was a historic occasion for polio eradication in Nigeria, Africa and globally.

1 in 5 children in Africa do not have access to life-saving vaccines It is estimated that about three million children under five years of age die each year in the African Region and a significant number of these deaths could be prevented by vaccines. Yet one in five children does not receive them. Lack of service delivery in remote areas or lack of information about the effectiveness of vaccines is a major reason many do not receive them.

“Countries and stakeholders must raise the visibility of vaccine-preventable diseases, address barriers to vaccination, and make substantial and sustained additional investments to strengthen health systems and achieve equitable access to immunization services,” said Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa.

evd-imm-30-03As a public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC), the Ebola virus disease outbreak in West Africa has drawn huge global attention and response. Numerous queries about immunization services and the risks they present have been raised. Tragically in some areas, there are reports of increased vaccine-preventable deaths, such as measles. In this context, practical guidance on immunization is needed.


Integrated child survival interventions

Measles elimination

Monitoring and evaluation

Polio eradication


Reach every district (RED) approach

Tetanus elimination

Vaccine research and development

Yellow fever control