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World Health Stat Q. 1988;41(2):59-63.

Expanded programme on immunization.

Author information

1
EPI, World Health Organization, Geneva.

Abstract

The Expanded Programme on Immunization (EPI) was established in 1974 to develop and expand immunization programmes throughout the world. In 1977, the goal was set to make immunization against diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, poliomyelitis, measles and tuberculosis available to every child in the world by 1990. Problems encountered by the Programme have included: lack of public and governmental awareness of the scope and seriousness of the target diseases; ineffective programme management; inadequate equipment and skills for vaccine storage and handling; and insufficient means for monitoring programme impact as reflected by increasing immunization coverage levels and decreasing incidence of the target diseases. When the EPI was initiated in 1974, fewer than 5% of children in developing countries were receiving a third dose of DPT and poliomyelitis vaccines in their first year of life. These coverage levels have now surpassed 50% in developing countries, and millions of cases of the target disease have been prevented. Over 700,000 measles deaths were prevented by immunization in developing countries in 1987, and an increasing number of neonatal tetanus deaths is now being prevented by maternal immunization and improved childbirth conditions. Poliomyelitis immunization efforts have been so successful that the Pan American Health Organization is leading a drive to eradicate poliomyelitis from the Americas by 1990. The successes of the Programme represent a major public health achievement, but much remains to be done.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS).

PIP:

The Expanded Programme on Immunization (EPI) was established in 1974 to develop and expand immunization programs throughout the world. In 1977, the goal was set to make immunization against diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, poliomyelitis, measles and tuberculosis available to every child in the world by 1990. Problems encountered by the Program have included: lack of public and governmental awareness of the scope and seriousness of the target diseases; ineffective program management; inadequate equipment and skills for vaccine storage and handling; and insufficient means for monitoring program impact as reflected by increasing immunization coverage levels and decreasing incidence of the target diseases. When the EPI was initiated in 1974, fewer than 5% of children in developing countries were receiving a 3rd dose of DPT and poliomyelitis vaccines in their 1st year of life. These coverage levels have now surpassed 50% in developing countries, and millions of cases of the target disease have been prevented. Over 700,000 measles deaths were prevented by immunization in developing countries in 1987, and an increasing number of neonatal tetanus deaths is now being prevented by maternal immunization and improved childbirth conditions. Poliomyelitis immunization efforts have been so successful that the Pan American Health Organization is leading a drive to eradicate poliomyelitis from the Americas by 1990. The successes of the Program represent a major public health achievement, but much remains to be done. Measles still kills nearly 2 million children each year, neonatal tetanus kills some 800,000 newborns, and pertussis nearly 600,000 children. 250,000 cases of paralytic poliomyelitis still occur annually. The major challenges now facing the EPI are accelerating and sustaining national immunization efforts.

PMID:
3176515
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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