Immunisation is one of the most cost-effective medical interventions in public health. However, it is estimated that 1.5 million people die every year from diseases that are preventable by a series of vaccines recommended for children by the World Health Organization and MSF. Currently, these are DTP (diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis), measles, polio, hepatitis B, Haemophilius influenzae type b (Hib), pneumococcal conjugate, rotavirus, BCG (against tuberculosis), rubella, yellow fever, and human papillomavirus – although not all vaccines are recommended everywhere.
In countries where vaccination coverage is generally low, MSF strives to offer routine vaccinations for children under five as part of its basic healthcare programme. Vaccination also forms a key part of MSF’s response to outbreaks of measles, cholera, yellow fever, and meningitis. Large-scale vaccination campaigns involve awareness-raising activities regarding the epidemic disease, benefits of immunisation, as well as information in regard to who, when and where to get the vaccine.
MSF conducted 544,800 routine vaccinations in 2017.