East Africa: Germany Commits U.S.$34 Million for EAC Immunization Programme

Dar es Salaam — The Government of the Federal Republic of Germany committed a grant of $34 million (EUR 30 million) to the East African Community (EAC) to support the regional organisation's immunization efforts.

The Secretary General of the East African Community, Libérat Mfumukeko, and the Deputy Ambassador of Germany to the EAC, Jörg Herrera, jointly signed the according Government Agreement in Dar es Salaam yesterday.

"With the additional grant, Germany will be financing the procurement of vaccines for children in the EAC against various diseases, including measles, rotavirus, pneumococcus, HPV (Human papillomavirus) and yellow fever," said a statement issued by Germany embassy.

The programme will be financed through the German Development Bank KfW and implemented in collaboration with Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance. The cooperation thus aims at reducing child mortality in the region and mainly targets new-borns.

This new commitment will bring Germany's contribution to EAC's regional immunization programmes to approximately $170 million (EUR 150 million) since 2012.

To date, German Development Cooperation with the EAC has financed over 60 million doses of life-saving vaccines for the region and the average immunization coverage in the region was substantially increased, making the EAC's immunization programmes the strongest in Sub-Sahara Africa.

Deputy Ambassador Jörg Herrera underlined: "Germany is a committed partner to the East African regional integration process. We are proud that our cooperation with the EAC and the Gavi Alliance is contributing greatly to improve child health in the region."

He further underlined that vaccinations are a highly effective and cost efficient means to fight child mortality and that particularly focus needs to be put on children from poor families as they often lack sufficient access to quality health care.

Mr Herrera also commended the EAC for its comprehensive approach to address priority health issues in the EAC region such as the control and prevention of infectious diseases and pandemics or mother and child health.

EAC and Germany had celebrated their 20th anniversary of development cooperation last month after holding successful Government Negotiations at the Headquarters of the East African Community.

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