Asmara — A three-day conference of East and Southern African countries' EPI Managers opened today, 18 March at Asmara Palace Hotel.
The conference is attended by Immunization Program Managers from 20 Eastern and Southern African countries and delegations of various international organizations and research institutions.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, Ms. Amina Nurhussen, Minister of Health, said that the peace and friendship between Eritrea and Ethiopia and the lifting of the unjust and unfair sanctions has brought about a sense of renewed hope for cooperation in health, economic growth and social development.
Minister Amina also called beyond political commitment for sharing experiences and continuous evaluation for the implementation of the program.
Also speaking at the event, Ms. Susan Namondo Ngongi, Resident Coordinator of UN Offices in Eritrea, said that Eritrea has a high performance immunization program that makes it among the best in Sub-Saharan Africa and that the immunization coverage has increased from 10% to 99% in the past 20 years in 12 categories of vaccines.
Ms. Susan also said that the robustness of Eritrea's immunization program was undisputedly a major contributor for its MDG success and will contribute towards SDG 3 goals.
Dr. Josephine Namboze, WHO Representative in Eritrea, on her part said that Eritrea has made remarkable progress towards universal health coverage, in inculcating the culture of active community involvement in immunization programs and in political commitment and leadership.
The three-day conference will discuss on the Development of Strategic Plan on immunization, status of vaccination program and regional development on immunization, expansion and progress of vaccination, role of community in sustainable demand for immunization as well as introduction of new vaccination programs and preservation of the success attained in vaccination coverage.