African Vaccination Week is an annual event celebrated during the last week of April in synchronization with the other WHO Regions and the World Immunization Week (WIW). It is led and coordinated by the World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Office for Africa and implemented by countries. The goal of the AVW is to strengthen immunization programmes in the African Region by increasing awareness of the importance of every person’s (particularly every child and woman) need and right to be protected from vaccine-preventable diseases.
It aims at keeping immunization high on the national and regional agendas through advocacy and partnerships. It also promotes delivery of other high impact lifesaving interventions. The over-arching slogan of AVW is “Vaccinated communities, Healthy communities”.
Immunization is one of the most successful and cost-effective public health interventions. Immunization currently averts an estimated 2 to 3 million deaths every year. It averts an estimated 2 to 3 million deaths every year. An additional 1.5 million deaths could be avoided, however, if global vaccination coverage improves . In 2015, an estimated 7.8 million children under the age of one in the African Region were un/under vaccinated in the AFR.
Since institutionalization of AVW in April 2011, Implementation is flexible and countries choose their activities, but focus on goals of national health strategies. Countries have conducted large scale vaccination campaigns, small scale vaccination activities or information outreach and health promotion through immunization and other child survival interventions.