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February 18, 2020

Survey vital to tackle challenges in immunization programme

The nationwide initiative for inoculating children younger than 5 years against 12 diseases could serve as an important milestone in the history of immunization programmes in Myanmar.
In addition, girls aged between 9 and 10 years will be administered the Human Papilloma Virus vaccine against cervical cancer in July and August. The HPV vaccine will be the 13th vaccine on the immunization list.
The cost of vaccinating a child against 12 diseases is about US$40. Twenty-six per cent of the total funds required for the nationwide immunization programme has been allocated by the Union government, while Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, has donated 74 per cent of the funds.
The government will have to fund the entire immunization programme in 2025. Hence, it is important that the funds allocated for the programme are used effectively. To make the 2025 Expanded Programme on Immunization a success, we need to find out the possible challenges ahead and find ways to tackle them. In any such undertaking, the role of surveyors would be important for conducting a nationwide survey for the programme.
Making the best use of the results of the survey, we can lay down good policies and strategies to ensure that everyone benefits from immunization.
It has been learnt that the Ministry of Health and Sports will launch the three-month survey in late February.
It is important for surveyors to know that people’s beliefs on science are deeply influenced by their culture, context, and background.
We need to care more about these connections if we want everyone to benefit from immunization.
At the same time, we also need to prepare for refuting rumors and misinformation on social media, which has become an amplifier of doubt and is highly volatile. It also has the power to change the landscape.
We believe that the Ministry of Health and Sports and its health workers would leave no stone unturned to make the nationwide immunization programmes a success at a time when deadly diseases like diphtheria and measles, which can be prevented through vaccination, are surging in developing countries.

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