28 Apr Vaccines: The Heart of Primary Care in Ethiopia
Dagfinn Høybråten, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
“Vaccines are the heart of our primary care,” Emebet Meshesha, a health extension worker, told me last month when I visited the Adama Udie health post in Ormoia, just outside Addis Ababa.
Ethiopia has made impressive gains with immunization. From 2000 to 2009, the country has done an admirable job of increasing the percentage of children immunized with the three dose diptheria-tetanus-pertussis (DTP3) vaccine from 56 percent to 79 percent. With 81 million people, the third largest population in Africa, Ethiopia makes a critical contribution to global immunization levels. It’s clearly an important country for the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunizations, also known as the GAVI Alliance.