Children First: National Immunization Day
National Immunization Day (NID) originated as one day mass polio vaccination campaigns across developing world. NID which still takes place in many countries are supplementary and do replace routine immunization. The original aim was to prevent the spread of polio by immunizing all children under the age of five (5), regardless of their previous polio vaccination history.
The concept of setting aside a day for mass intervention on child health is not new. Successful trials of days took place in the 1980s in many places. More recently active civil wars have been halted to provide days of tranquility that allow children to be safely vaccinated.
Mass vaccination allows for economic scale, as skilled professionals can supervise a cadre of volunteers, especially for oral, polio vaccine which does not require a needle and syringe.
Child health days have expanded the scope of intervention beyond polio immunization in recent years.
By Alula Berhe Kidani, 25/11/2011