Concern for millions of children unvaccinated in the Middle East and North Africa

Posted on 03 May 2023

A recent press release from UNICEF reveals that between 2019-2021, over 4.3 million children in North Africa and the Middle East did not receive a single measles vaccine dose, and 3.8 million were under-vaccinated for diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis (DTP). Various factors including COVID19, ongoing conflict, displacement, and poor health systems have all exacerbated the issue.
Adele Khodr, UNICEF Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa Region, says “It is sad and concerning that the region, which had one of the highest immunization coverage rates in the world, witnesses a setback in immunization rates… this puts children in our region at a high risk of vaccine-preventable illnesses.”

In UNICEF’s "For Every Child, Vaccination - State of the World’s Children 2023" report, they state that 67 million children globally missed out on immunisation either fully or partially during the two year period. Khodr urges global support for the issue, saying “Investing in immunization is a proven and cost-effective way to protect children and communities from disease.”


Health vaccine childhood development