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  1. 1

    Report of the European Region on Immunization Activities. (Global Advisory Group EPI, Alexandria, October 1984). WHO/Expanded Immunization Programme and the European Immunization Targets in the Framework of HFA 2000.

    World Health Organization [WHO]. Expanded Programme on Immunization [EPI]. European Region on Immunization Activities

    [Unpublished] 1984. Presented at the EPI Global Advisory Group Meeting, Alexandria, Egypt, 21-25 October 1984. 3 p. (EPI/GAG/84/WP.4)

    Current reported levels of morbidity and mortality from measles, poliomyelitis, diphtheria, tetanus, and tuberculosis in most countries in the European Region are at or near record low levels. However, several factors threaten successful achievement of the Expanded Program on Immunization (EPI) goal of making immunization services available to all the world's children by the year 2000, including changes in public attitudes as diseases pose less of a visible threat, declining acceptance rates for certain immunizations, variations in vaccines included in the EPI, and incomplete information on the incidence of diseases preventable by immunization and on vaccination coverage rates. To launch a more coordinated approach to the EPI goals, a 2nd Conference on Immunization Policies in Europe is scheduled to be held in Czechoslovakia. Its objectives are: 1) to review and analyze the current situation, including achievements and gaps, in immunization programs in individual countries and the European Region as a whole; 2) to determine the necessary actions to eliminate indigenous measles, poliomyelitis, neonatal tetanus, congenital rubella, and diphtheria; 3) to consider appropriate policies regarding the control by immunization of other diseases of public health importance; 4) to strengthen existing or establish additional systems for effective monitoring and surveillance; 5) to formulate actions necessary to improve national vaccine programs in order to achieve national and regional targets; 6) to reinforce the commitment of Member Countries to the goals and activities of the EPI; and 7) to define appropriate activities for the Regional Office for Europe of the World Health Organization to achieve coordinated action.
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  2. 2

    Report of the Expanded Programme on Immunization Global Advisory Group Meeting, 20-23 October 1980, Geneva.

    World Health Organization [WHO]. Expanded Programme on Immunization [EPI]. Global Advisory Group

    [Unpublished] 1980. 39 p. (EPI/GEN/80/1)

    This report of the Expanded Program on Immunization (EPI) Global Advisory Group Meeting, held during October 1980 in Geneva, Switzerland, presents conclusions and recommendations, global and regional overviews, working group discussions, and outlines global advisory group activities for 1981. In terms of global strategies, the EPI confronts dual challenges: to reduce morbidity and mortality by providing immunizations for all children of the world by 1990; and to develop immunization services in consonance with other health services, particularly those directed towards mothers and children, so they can mutually strengthen the approach of primary health care. Increased resources are needed to support the expansion of immunization services and to establish them as permanent elements of the health care system. The Global Advisory Group affirms the importance of setting quantified targets as a basic principle of management and endorses the principle of setting targets for the reduction of the EPI diseases at national, regional, and global levels. The primary focus for the World Health Organization (WHO) in promoting the EPI continues to be the support to national program implementation in all its aspects. The Group reviewed current EPI immunization schedules and policies and concurs in the following: for measles, for most developing countries, the available data support the current recommendations of administering a single dose of vaccine to children as early as possible after the child reaches the age of 9 months; for DPT, children in the 1st year of life should receive a series of 3 DPT doses administered at intervals of at least 1 month; for tetanus toxoid, the control of neonatal and puerperal tetanus by immunizing women of childbearing age, particularly pregnant women, is endorsed; for poliomyelitis, the Group endorses the "Outline for WHO's Research on Poliomyelitis, Polioviruses and Poliomyelitis Vaccines" prepared by the WHO Working Group convened in October 1980, i.e., for oral (live) vaccines, a 3-dose schedule, administered simultaneously with DPT vaccine, is recommended again; and for BCG concurred with the Advisory Committee on Medical Research conclusion that the use of BCG as an anti-tuberculosis measure within the EPI should be continued as at present. The implementation of programs at the national level remains the foremost priority for the EPI. National commitment, evidenced in part by the designation of a national manager, the establishment of realistic targets, and the allocation of adequate resources, is essential if programs are to succeed.
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  3. 3

    Undoing the curse of neo-natal tetanus.

    Robbins K

    CHILD SURVIVAL ACTION NEWS. 1988 Apr; (9):1-2.

    Present thinking regarding the control of neonatal tetanus (NT) suggests that the accepted protocol in the past, i.e., immunizing pregnant women with tetanus toxoid (TT) during antenatal care, is not sufficient in countries where antenatal care may be unavailable. Current control strategies, experts, and official World Health Organization (WHO) recommendations now indicate that efforts should reach beyond immunization of pregnant women and the training of traditional birth attendants in hygienic cord care practice to immunization of all women of childbearing age. Babies continue to die form NT because it is so difficult to reach women during pregnancy for immunization. Lack of commitment to expanding immunization programs as Who recommends stems in part from failure at both national and local levels to acknowledge the extent of the neonatal tetanus problem. NT is vastly underreported for several reasons: cultural practices often include the seclusion of women and their babies during the period after birth; people in developing countries have a fatalistic attitude because so many children die within the 1st year of life; newborns are rarely taken to health centers for treatment; health workers may fail to report NT for fear that their superiors will blame them for failure to immunize or for poor care of the umbilical cord; Western medicine and research has a curative rather than a preventive focus; and gathering information on NT by asking mothers to recall deaths of newborns with symptoms of NT is difficult because many women are ashamed or otherwise unwilling to report the event. The WHO believes that conventional reporting systems in developing countries identify only 2-4% of actual NT cases. Without sound documentation of the problem, it is difficult to gain financial and political commitment to eradicating NT. The VIII International Conference on Tetanus that occurred in Leningrad during 1987 outlined WHO's recommendation for a mixed strategy to control and eliminate tetanus: immunize all women of childbearing age, with special emphasis on pregnant women and women known to belong to high risk groups; assure hygienic delivery and umbilical care through training and supervision of birth attendants; and investigate cases to determine what action could have prevented them.
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  4. 4

    Global overview: the Expanded Programme on Immunization, Cartagena, Colombia, 14-16 October 1985.

    World Health Organization [WHO]. Expanded Programme on Immunization [EPI]

    [Unpublished] 1985. 15 p.

    This paper reviews the development of the global Expanded Program on Immunization (EPI) initiative, reports on program progress since the 1984 EPI conference, and identifies actions needed to meet the goal of providing immunization services to all children of the world by 1990. The central EPI strategy to date has been to deliver immunization in consonance with other health services, particularly those aimed at mothers and children. The long-term goal of such efforts is to strengthen the health infrastructure so as to ensure the continuous provision of immunization and other primary health care services. Simply by reinforcing existing health services, a coverage level of 60-70% will be achieved in developing countries by 1990. If universal coverage is to be achieved, external funds will have to be provided to meet operational costs and train national managers. Acceleration of existing efforts constitutes the main EPI priority at present. Specific areas suggested for immediate action include provision of information about immunization at every health contact; a reduction in the drop-out rates between 1st and last immunization; increased attention to the control of measles, poliomyelitis, and neonatal tetanus; improved immunization services to the disadvantaged in urban areas; and, where appropriate, acceleration of the EPI through approaches such as national immunization days. Ongoing actions that need to be pursued include strengthening disease surveillance and outbreak control, reinforcing training and supervision, and pursuing applied research and development. Overall, management capacity within national programs remains the most severe constraint for the EPI.
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  5. 5

    [Experience with the expanded WHO program on immunization against tetanus] Opyt rasshirennoi programmy VOZ po immunizatsii protiv stolbniaka.

    Litvinov SK; Lobanov AV


    According to (WHO) statistics, over 1 million infants in the developing countries die each year from tetanus. The estimated annual occurrence of tetanus in the 3rd World exceeds 2.5 million cases, including approximately 1.3 million newborn infants. In 1974, WHO began an expanded program for the systematic immunization of infants against tetanus and certain other diseases. The program uses 2 approaches for preventing tetanus: 1) immunization of infants under 1 year of age with the AKDS vaccine; and 2) immunization of pregnant women or, if possible, all women, with tetanus anatoxin. The 2nd approach is more effective, especially when 2 doses of tetanus anatoxin are administered within a minimum interval of 4 weeks. The anatoxin has no harmful effects on the fetus and can be used during any stage of pregnancy. The program strives to reduce infant mortality caused by tetanus to less than 1 case in 1000 by 1990, and to 0 by 2000. To attain these goals, systematic immunization should be combined with drastic improvements in delivery techniques and hygiene in developing countries. Specialized surveys indicate that initial steps toward implementation of the program resulted in a significant reduction of infant mortality caused by tetanus. Experience with the expanded WHO program shows that elimination of tetanus in infants is a realistic and attainable goal.
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  6. 6

    [Expanded Programme on Immunization: Global Advisory Group] Programme Elargi de Vaccination: Groupe consultatif mondial.

    World Health Organization [WHO]

    Weekly Epidemiological Record / Releve Epidemiologique Hebdomadaire. 1984 Mar 23; 59(12):85-9.

    In addition to the conclusions and recommendations reached at the 6th meeting of the Expanded Program on Immunization (EPI) Global Advisory Group and summarized in this report, the Group reviewed at length the status of the program in the Western Pacific Region and made a series of recommendations specifically directed to activities in the Region. Of particular significance for the operational progress of the global program are the recommendations concerning "Administration of EPI Vaccines," which were subsequently endorsed by the Precongress workshop on Immunization held before the XVIIth International Congress of Pediatrics in Manila in November 1983. These recommendations are not listed here. In his report to the World Health Assembly in 1982, the Director-General summarized the major problems which threaten the success of efforts to achieve the World Health Organization (WHO) goal of reducing morbidity and mortality by providing immunization for all children of the world by 1990. The 5-Point Action Program adopted at that time remains a relevant guide for countries and for WHO as they work to resolve those problems. The EPI is concerned about the prevention of the target diseases, not merely with the administration of vaccine. In addition to working toward increases in immunization coverage, the EPI must assure the strenghtening of surveillance systems so that the magnitude of the health problem represented by the target diseases is known at the community, district, regional, and national levels; immunization strategies are continuously adapted in order to reach groups at highest risk; and the target diseases are reduced to a minimum. The development of surveillance systems is one of the priorities in the development of effective primary health care services. Disease surveillance in its various forms should be used at all management levels for monitoring immunization programs performance and for measuring program impact. Specific recommendations regarding disease surveillance to be undertaken at global and regional levels and at the national level are listed. The results of more than 100 lameness surveys conducted in 25 developing countries confirm that paralytic poliomyelitis constitutes an important public health problem in any area in which the disease is endemic. In most programs, initial emphasis should be placed on the develpment of sentinel surveillance sites to monitor disease incidence trends. Some progress has been made in acting on the recommendations made at the meeting on the prevention of neonatal tetanus held in Lahore in 1982, but intensification of activities is required. In many developing countries, the surveillance and control of diphtheria must be improved. All aspects of progress and problems in the global program are reflected at least somewhere in the Western Pacific Region, and most of the findings and recommendations generally are valid beyond the regional boundaries.
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  7. 7

    Neonatal tetanus--a brief global review.

    Cook R

    In: The control of neonatal tetanus in India, edited by Indra Bhargava [and] Jotna Sokhey. New Delhi, India, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, 1983. 16-23.

    Neonatal tetanus is relatively preventable either by the immunization of pregnant women or hygienic care of the umbilical stump. Nonetheless, the medical profession tends to place great emphasis on its treatment than prevention, and the global magnitude of the problem remains largely unknown. In many countries, few cases of neonatal tetanus reach the hospitals and the usual notification system shows only a fraction of total mortality from this disease; thus, retrospective surveys are regarded as the most practical way to arrive at reasonably accurate estimates of disease incidence. Results of these surveys suggest that between 500,000 and 1 million deaths from neonatal tetanus occur each year in the developing world (excluding China). Trials have indicated the effectiveness of a combined approach to neonatal tetanus including improved maternity care (especially through training traditional birth attendants) and immunization of future mothers with 2 doses of tetanus toxoid. The basic prerequisites for effective control seem to be 1) a primary health care network accessible to the majority of the population and 2) an awareness of the magnitude of the problem. Every opportunity should be taken to immunize women in the childbearing period of life; many pregnant women do not take advantage of prenatal care. The World Health Organization (WHO) has been involved in the prevention of neonatal tetanus since the late 1960s. To achieve its goal of virtually eliminating neonatal tetanus by the year 2000, WHO plans to 1) encourage further retrospective surveys, especially in areas where the scope of the problem is unknown, and 2) support the demonstration of a combined approach (improved maternity care and immunization) in areas with populations over 250,000.
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