The Gain in Pain

By Ifeyinwa Ugo-Amadi

 Immunization is the process by which an individual’s immune system becomes fortified against substances that provoke immune responses. It is done through various techniques, the most common is vaccination. Vaccination is the administration of vaccine (substance that contains a weakened form of the disease-causing agent) into the body, causing the body to develop immunity against the foreign substance.
When the body is exposed to substances that are foreign to it, it triggers an immune response. It will also develop the ability to quickly respond to another encounter due to an immunological memory.
Immunization is one of the most successful and cost-effective health interventions. It is also one of the most important public health achievements of the 20th century as it prevents between 2 to 3 million deaths especially amongst children every year.
Despite this cost-effective means of health intervention, about 1 in 5 children are still left out. This may be related to lack of access to health services, inadequate supply of vaccines or inaccurate information about immunization.
2015 immunization week aims at renewing a global effort to accelerate awareness of immunization by communities. Consequences of not immunizing infants could be severe ranging from one form of deformity to death. Disease has emotional, economic and social costs which may also affect child development.
In addition to other vaccines is the development of vaccines against meningitis, pneumonia, rotavirus-caused diarrhea and human papilloma virus (cause of the dreaded cervical cancer). More research is going on for the development of new vaccines that can prevent more diseases that affect humans.
Due to climatic change and urbanization, diseases previously seen in the tropics are appearing in the temperate regions. Production of vaccines that prevent against these tropical diseases are an important goal for researchers in the development of vaccines.
There need to be no gap left in the elimination of diseases. Close the immunization gap!



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