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  1. 1

    Keep taking the initiatives.

    ECONOMIST. 1993 Nov 13; 99-100.

    The World Health Organization (WHO) eradicated smallpox in 1977. This was the first time that an effective vaccine disseminated through a systematically organized inoculation program had been so successful. In the aftermath, WHO launched the Expanded Program on Immunization (EPI) with the objective of eradicating measles, diphtheria, whooping cough, tetanus, tuberculosis, and polio. These diseases were chosen because all caused major child mortality and effective vaccines existed against each. After 16 years, 80% of the world's children have been immunized and many lives have been saved, but only patchy geographical coverage of immunizations has been achieved and each targeted disease in still with us. In light of this situation, program critics saw the need to take an alternative approach and launched the Children's Vaccine Initiative (CVI) in 1990. EPI concentrated on increasing the effectiveness of bureaucracy to delivery vaccines, but 5 clinic visits in the first 15 months of the baby's life were nonetheless needed for a complete regimen of inoculations against all 6 target diseases. The WHO bureaucracy had trouble incorporating improved vaccines as they were developed and in maintaining the cold chain. The CVI, however, has only minority participation by WHO and the different strategy of focusing upon the development of simpler, more robust vaccines. The CVI is striving to develop a combined vaccine against all 6 diseases which would be affordable, unaffected by changing temperatures, and administered orally in 1 dose shortly after birth. The WHO chief, Nakajima, conceded to the flaws of EPI and agreed to merge the program and its resources with CVI in January, 1994. This move will bring a great deal of program money to CVI. Regarding specific technologies, Virogenetics of Troy, New York, is testing canary-pox-based vaccines on people with the goal of securing a vaccine capable of effectively carrying 7 different antigens. Timed-release capsules are being tested as a means of dealing with the need for repeated doses and it appears that using heavy water to make polio vaccine increases the latter's resistance to heat; researchers are trying to find out why.
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  2. 2

    A perspective on controlling vaccine-preventable diseases among children in Liberia.

    Weeks RM

    INFECTION CONTROL. 1984 Nov; 5(11):538-41.

    In 1978 the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare (MHSW) of Liberia launched the Expanded Program on Immunization (EPI) with the 5-year objective of establishing an 80% reduction in child mortality and morbidity from measles, polio, diphtheria, neonatal tetanus, pertussis, and tuberculosis. The program at first adopted a strategy of using 15 mobile units in 11 operational zones to deliver vaccinations throughout the country. However, by 1980, despite support from the Baptist World Alliance, the UN International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF), and the World Health Organization (WHO), it became evident that the mobile strategy was neither economically feasible nor practical. Therefore, with support from the US Agency for International Development (USAID), the EPI shifted to a strategy of integrating immunization activities into the existing network of state health facilities. After 5 years, in 1982, the Program was evaluated by a team from the MHSW, WHO, USAID, and the Centers for Disease Control. The evaluating team felt that the EPI's strategy was good, but its goals were not being achieved due to deficiencies in funding, clinic supervision, and rural community outreach, as well as shortages of kerosene and spare parts needs to keep the essential refrigerators in operating condition. Measles remains endemic; in the capital, Monrovia, only 9% of the children have been vaccinated against it. Immunization coverage is particularly low in the capital the countries. Other reasons for low vaccination coverage in Liberia are lack of community awareness of existing facilities and the importance of vaccination and lack of coordination at the community level to use the existing facilities efficiently. International assistance is still needed, especially to develop heat-stable vaccines, so that maintenance of refrigerators will not be necessary.
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  3. 3

    [Vaccination, the right of each child, World Day of Health 1987] Vacunacion: derecho de cada nino, Dia Mundial de la Salud 1987.

    Guerra de Macedo C; Mahler HT


    In the 10 years since the Panamerican Health Organization (PAHO) and the World Health Organization initiated the Extended Immunization Program in the Americas (PAI), coverage has increased from less than 1/3 to over 1/2 of children immunized in their first year against 6 major childhood diseases. Due mainly to the PAI, the incidence of measles, tetanus, and diptheria has been reduced by 1/2, that of whooping cough by 75%, and that of tuberculosis by about 5% annually. About 75% of children are immunized against polio, which has 1/10 as many victims today as 10 years ago. PAHO and several other organizations have targeted 1990 for eradication of polio from the South American continent. Since the PAI was established in 1977, more than 15,000 health workers have been trained, cold chains have been established to preserve vaccines, and more than 250 technicians have been trained to maintain and repair the needed equipment. The cost of the campaign to eradicate polio is estimated at US $ 24 million per year for the entire region--a low total compared to the costs of hospitalization and rehabilitation of the victims in the absence of such a program. The goal of immunizing all the world's children by 1990 proposed by the World Health Assembly in 1977 is achievable, but much remains to be done. The number of children immunized in the largest Third World countries ranges from 20-90% owing in part to national immunization days but also to assumption by local communities of the goal of universal immunization by 1990. All deaths produced by these 6 killer diseases are not registered, but the World Health Organization estimates that measles takes 2.1 million lives annually, neonatal tetanus 800,000, and whooping cough 600,000. Governmental and nongovernmental international organizations have made financial help available to countries needing it for their immunization programs. Most developing countries are expected to achieve the goal of universal immunization by 1990, but the 10 poorst countries of Africa and the Eastern Mediterranean may not be able to do so. At the worldwide level, 41% of the 118 million children who survive their first year have been vaccinated against measles and 46% against tuberculosis. 47% have received the full course of vaccine against diptheria, whooping cough, tetanus, and polio. The cost of these immunization is $5-15 per child and 80% is assumed by local countries. The World Health Organization recommends that all children, even the undernourished or slightly ill, be vaccinated, and that all health services vaccinate. Parents should be urged to return for the 2nd and 3rd doses of polio and DPT vaccines. Vaccination programs should pay more attention to impoverished urban populations. Several countries of the region have added innovations such as vaccination against other illnesses, house to house searches for unvaccinated children, or use of mass media to publicize national vaccination programs.
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  4. 4

    The state of the world's children 1984.

    Grant JP

    New York, New York, UNICEF, [1984]. 42 p.

    In the last 12 months, world-wide support has been gathering behind the idea of a revolution which could save the lives of up to 7 million children each year, protect the health and growth of many millions more, and help to slow down world population growth. This document summarizes case studies which illustrate the techniques which make this revolution possible. These techniques are: oral rehydration therapy (ORT); growth monitoring; expanded immunization using newly improved vaccines to prevent the 6 main immunizable diseases which kill an esitmated 5 million children a year and disable 5 million more (measles, whooping cough, neonatal tetanus, polio, diphtheria and tuberculosis); and the promotion of scientific knowledge about the advantages of breastfeeding and about how and when an infant should be given supplementary foods. Results are summarized from Guatemala, Papua New Guinea, Brazil, Egypt, Indonesia, Barbados, the Philippines, Nicaragua and Honduras, Malawi, China, Nepal, Bangladesh, Colombia, and Ethiopia. The impact of economic recession and female education on childrens' health is discussed, and basic statistics for developed and underdeveloped countries are given.
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