GAVI award

“I think I know why babies today hardly cry,” my father remarked as he bounced his granddaughter on his knee, ten years ago. “They hardly fall ill – they are vaccinated!” Father was right.

And, GAVI, which recently honoured 15 low-income countries for excelling in child health and immunization, thinks so too. They recognized Bhutan for achieving the highest coverage of immunization.

That Bhutan has achieved 95% immunization coverage is commendable. After all, we are a poor country with a scattered population, much of which lives in remote, hard-to-reach areas.

Just consider the challenges involved in achieving such high immunization coverage. First, our governments have had to adopt policies that support immunization. Second, our governments have had to make funds available to implement immunization policies. Third, those funds have had to be used wisely to procure the right vaccines. And fourth, those vaccines have had to be actually administered to every child, throughout our country.

I congratulate our governments, present and past, for attaining near complete immunization coverage of our children. More importantly, I congratulate and thank our health workers for making sure that every child in every village, in every corner of our country, has been vaccinated.

Well done!


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