By Suleiman Yakubu, Monitoring, Evaluation and Programme Manager
World Immunisation Week is being celebrated worldwide this week to raise awareness about the importance of vaccination in protecting against diseases. This year’s theme – ‘The Big Catch-up’ urges greater engagement around immunisation globally to promote the role of vaccines in bringing people together, and improving the health and well-being of everyone, everywhere.
We’re fully supportive of this at The Power of Nutrition.
Nutrition programmes and immunisation programmes often target the same vulnerable children. And as the impact of these separate interventions are mutually reinforcing, the two together are a powerful combination. Their integration is therefore critical for supporting the most vulnerable children and helping them to reach their full potential.
In many countries, particularly in lower-income countries, progress in routine immunisation and nutrition services has stalled over recent years, and in some cases, it’s been reversed. Undernutrition rates among children remain unacceptably high and are rising faster, especially for the most vulnerable due to the impact of Covid-19, rising conflict and effect of climate change; immunisation rates have declined often for the same reasons. Integrated delivery of essential nutrition interventions and routine immunisation services is not only the right thing to do to support the most children, but also a cost-effective way to reach and support vulnerable communities who have been most affected by this global crisis.
Strategic partnerships and sustainable investments must be at the heart of integrating the delivery of nutrition and immunisation services to reach the most vulnerable populations. We must use tailored approaches and address gender-related barriers particularly for those living in urban slums, rural and hard-to-reach areas, and fragile and conflict settings.
The Power of Nutrition is committed to achieving critical goals and targets for Nutrition and Immunisation, by convening new and stronger partnerships. There is huge scope to do so much more, and we are working to ensure there are more and more joined up programmes where the benefits of vaccination and nutrition are delivered in a holistic way.
If you’d like to know more about the way we’re integrating immunisations and nutrition within our programmes, or how we’re holistically approaching nutrition in others ways and to explore partnership opportunities, please get in touch with Chris Grayson – email@example.com.
 WHO. 2021. COVID-19 pandemic leads to major backsliding on childhood vaccinations, new WHO, UNICEF data