20-year achievements of EPI (1985 - 2010)

Updated at 16 Apr 2013 14:38
Vietnamese expanded Program on Immunization (EPI) began in 1981. Right after that, it had faced to various difficulties including transportation, people’s knowledge, health facilities  and budget limitation. Traffic and lines communication, especially in remote areas, were too disadvantageous while the knowledge on vaccination and prevention was limited, commune health centre often overloaded with numerous services… Above all, Vietnamese  EPI has found the way to overcome the challenges step by step and achieved very promising results, then has been admitted as the most efficient EPI by international community.
          Till 1985, EPI had expanded to 100% of communes in the whole country and introduced 6 vaccines against dangerous infectious diseases (BCG, Diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, measles and polio). From 1993 up to now, fully immunized coverage for children under one year old always reach to over 90%. Since 1995,  there has been no longer  non-immunized commune. The result has shown the strict adherence of Nation Policy of VCP and the  Government, Policy of People’s Healthcare Equality, Children Right Commitment. It has been the victory to show the effective combination between civil and non-civil health sectors in People’s Healthcare to  provide EPI service to  all villages, people and families in the whole country.
          Viet Nam reached the international commitment of Polio Eradication in 2000, Neonatal Tetanus Elimination in 2005. Vaccine preventable diseases in EPI, including pertussis, diphtheria and measles decreased significantly. In the comparison between 1985 - launching program and 2009,  pertussis, diphtheria and neonatal tetanus reduced  543 times, 433 times and 69 times, respectively.
          With the improvement of expanded immunization quality, enhancement of supporting in disadvantageous areas, we has achieved ten-year Polio Eradication and five-year Neonatal Tetanus Elimination, hit the targets of reducing VPDs’ cases, and tended to reach Measles Elimination goal in 2012.
          Viet Nam has succeeded in producing domestic vaccines and introducing the new ones in EPI, in order to protect children health from infectious diseases more and more successfully. Since 1997, four new vaccines against Hepatitis B, JE, Typhoid and Cholera have been introduced. Since June, 2010, combined  vaccine (DPT-VGB-Hib) has been freely immunized to children under one year old throughout the country. Up to now, 8 vaccines has been introduced in EIP and vaccinated freely to children under one year old to protect from tuberculosis, diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, hepatitis B, polio, Measles and pneumonia/ meningitis caused by Hib. The continuous expansion of the new and advanced vaccines has proved the non-stop efforts of improving quality, and confirmed the attention of Government in Children Healthcare.

          Gaining this whole progress is due to numerous efforts of Health Sector, by responding active preventive medical direction of VCP and Government. EPI achievement is typical example of high socialization, privileged and sustainable policies. Also, it is the fruitful manifestation of effective combination between Health sector and other Sectors and Associations on People’s Healthcare. Success of EPI is the obvious proof of International Cooperation, support of Governments, international organizations to Viet Nam Health care system in general, to EPI in particular. 
Thùy Linh
Theo CNN