Immunisation is, put simply, about saving lives.
Minister of Health, Ethiopia
Co-Chair of WHO’s Transforming IHP+ International Health Partnership for UHC 2030
Former Chair of the African Centers for Disease Control
Trained physician and Master’s degree in public health
As Health Minister, Amir Aman Hagos has championed Ethiopia’s Health Extension Program. Under his leadership, Ethiopia will continue to target districts with the lowest immunisation coverage rates and the highest dropout rates for basic childhood vaccines.
How important is immunisation for your country?
Put simply, it is about saving lives. Immunisation in Ethiopia has become very important by preventing the most dangerous diseases, like pneumonia and measles. It also has a huge impact on the life expectancy of our country. Nineteen years ago, life expectancy was around 45 year-old. Now, that has increased to 64. Vaccines have played a major role in that.
How important is partnering with Gavi?
Gavi is our strongest supporter. Gavi helps us strengthen our routine immunisation, introduce new vaccines into our national programme and strengthen capacity to respond to emergency crises when they happen. We are looking forward to strengthening our partnership for the future.
If you have one message for participants at Gavi’s Mid-Term Review meeting in the United Arab Emirates, what would it be?
Vaccines are both a very important prevention mechanism and an investment in a country’s economy. Most important of all, they help us save children’s lives. I would encourage all countries to give great emphasis to vaccines for children and to work with Gavi as partners to strengthen their systems.
What does Got Vaccines? Got Life! mean to you?
Got Vaccines? Got Life! personally is about saving lives. Saving the lives of millions of children, and people in the country. Got Vaccines? Got Life! is a very strong goal that we’d like to use and advocate all over the world.