Immunization – one of the best and cost-effective ways to safeguard young lives: BanListen /
World Vaccination Week is a valuable opportunity to raise awareness about the need to protect children from vaccine-preventable diseases such as polio, measles and tetanus.
That's what Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in a message to a World Vaccination Week event organized by the Pan American Health Organization in Belize.
The Secretary-General said "Immunization is one of the best and most cost-effective ways to safeguard young lives. There is no greater gift than a healthy start in life”.
He said "We can celebrate the fact that 80 percent of all children – more than at any time in history – are immunized. They are living and thriving". "At the same time", he said, "we grieve for the millions who are still left behind simply because they live in poor, under-served, conflict-ridden or isolated communities".
Secretary-General Ban noted that "we have reached four out of five children worldwide", adding that "now it is time to reach that fifth child wherever he or she may be".
He said the global success in fighting polio shows how far we can advance noting that we have achieved great progress through an international alliance of partners, including the United Nations, other international organizations, governments, health workers, civil society and the private sector.
Secretary-General Ban concluded that "together, we opened a window of opportunity to end polio forever".
Donn Bobb, United Nations.