Best performing districts and regions in 2011 were awarded with prizes whereby Tanga region became the best performing region followed by Singida, Dar Es Salaam, Ruvuma and Lindi. As for districts, Muheza was awarded as best performing district followed by Manyoni, Misungwi, Kibaha and Njombe. The first, second and third winner were awarded with trophies and all five districts were given a grant of $3,125 to support the immunization activities in their districts.
The first day was attended by the National ICC members. WHO and UNICEF were given an opportunity to deliver their remarks as partners during the official opening.
On his remarks, the WHO Representative, Dr Rufaro Chatora thanked the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare for inviting partners to this meeting. He emphasized the fact that immunization is one of the most cost-effective public health interventions being implemented by countries, both in the developed world and developing nations. He said, through this intervention, the world has eradicated small-pox, reduced measles deaths by 92% in the Region, lowered the global incidence of polio by 99% and achieved dramatic reductions in illness, disability and death from diphtheria, tetanus and whooping cough. It is estimated that over 2.5 million deaths are averted through vaccination every year.
Dr Chatora highlighted the challenges posed by introduction of new vaccines in terms of skills in vaccine and cold chain management, capacity in data management, logistics, monitoring Adverse Events Following Immunization and others related issues. He stressed the need to intensify the IVD Surveillance and emphasized the need to work in the public health emergency mode in order to stop Wild Polio Virus importation to Tanzania as the virus is still circulating in the neighboring countries.
Dr Chatora stressed on the importance of conducting quality technical supportive supervision, national level to the regions and regions to the districts for the success of the programme.
He commended the idea of rewarding the best performing districts and regions as this motivates other districts and regions to perform better. He concluded by reminding the MOHSW on the need to fully implement the African Vaccination week from 21 – 27 April 2012 and pledged the assurance of the UN agencies continued support for the implementation of the recommendations and action points resulted from the meeting.