Africa: Rwanda Among African Countries With Best Vaccine Coverage – New Research

Rwanda is one of the African countries with the best coverage for the Diphtheria, Tetanus, and Pertussis vaccine (DPT), new research data shows.

The DPT vaccine coverage is used as the global marker for immunization coverage.

According to new data from the GAVI Vaccine Alliance, a public-private global health partnership that works to improve access to immunization in developing countries, African countries boast the greatest improvement in DPT3 coverage in 2022 compared to 2021.

Liberia had the best improvement of 12 percent to take its general coverage to 78 percent.

Rwanda came second with a 10 percent improvement to achieve a general coverage of 98 percent.

Mauritania was third with an eight percent improvement to take its general coverage to 76 percent, Tanzania fourth with a seven percent improvement to achieve a general coverage of 88 percent, while Guinea Bissau also improved by seven percent to reach 74 percent general coverage.

The three diseases are serious infections that can lead to significant health consequences, including death. Diphtheria and pertussis spread from person to person, while tetanus enters the body through cuts or wounds.

Diphtheria is a bacterial infection that can lead to difficulty breathing, heart rhythm problems, and even death. Tetanus, is also a bacterial infection that causes painful muscle contractions and can lead to death. Pertussis, also known as whooping cough, can cause uncontrollable, violent coughing that makes it hard to breathe, eat, or drink.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), 20.5 million children around the globe missed out on one or more doses of their DTP vaccines in 2022. Of these, 14.3 million did not receive a single dose. This, however, represents an improvement from the 18.1 million zero-dose children in 2021.