Lebanese children’s health in danger amid drop in immunisation rate

Beirut, April 27 (IANS) Lebanese children’s health is in great danger as their vaccination rate has dropped to 60 per cent or less amid the current economic crisis, Lebanon’s Health Minister Firas Abiad said.

“These indicators show that our children are in great danger and they may turn from productive people in the future to a segment in dire need for help and medical care, which is dangerous for our community and the country as a whole,” Abiad said, Xinhua news agency reported citing Lebanon’s National News Agency.

The minister’s remarks came during a conference held by the Ministry of Health on the occasion of launching a vaccination campaign for children through the country’s primary healthcare centres aimed at increasing the immunisation rate of all children residing in Lebanon.

The conference was also held to celebrate the launch of an application, in cooperation with the UNICEF with funding from the European Union, aimed at adopting a calendar for the vaccination of children in Lebanon.

Abiad attributed the drop in vaccination rate to the dire economic situation, the Covid outbreak and the difficulty of reaching medical centres throughout the country given the lack of affordable transportation means, in addition to a lack of awareness about the importance of vaccination.

Saying that the vaccines are now available in primary healthcare centres for free, the minister urged the residents to vaccinate their children.