WHO lauds introduction of yellow fever vaccine into Ethiopia's routine immunization

  • World
  • Saturday, 16 Mar 2024

ADDIS ABABA, March 15 (Xinhua) -- The World Health Organization (WHO) has lauded the recent decision by Ethiopia to approve life-saving yellow fever vaccine into the country's routine immunization program.

This decision is a major part of Ethiopia's efforts to implement the Eliminate Yellow Fever Epidemics strategy that aims to protect almost one billion people against this deadly disease worldwide and eliminate its epidemics by the end of 2026, the WHO said in a statement issued Friday.

The Ethiopian population is among the 440 million people at risk located in the "yellow fever belt" that lies at the Equator and spans 34 African countries. All parts of Ethiopia are at risk of yellow fever, according to the WHO.

Nonhlanhla Dlamini, acting representative of the WHO Ethiopia, said the approval to introduce the yellow fever vaccine in Ethiopia is a significant breakthrough to ensure the availability of vaccines for the people of the country and protect populations at risk.

Dlamini also underscored the crucial importance of Ethiopia's move as the country is among the 27 countries identified from Africa as high risk for yellow fever transmission.

"The WHO is coordinating the effort and supporting the government by engaging multidisciplinary partners to extend their support with the resource required for smooth integration of yellow fever vaccine into their routine immunization schedule," the statement quoted Dlamini as saying.

Yellow fever is a viral disease transmitted between humans by the bites of mosquitoes, according to the WHO.

There is no specific treatment for yellow fever, which has a case fatality rate as high as 31 percent to 47 percent for those who develop severe forms of the disease. A single dose of yellow fever vaccine provides life-long protection, the WHO noted.

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