vaccines Neil Thomas/Getty Images

Menguji Vaksinasi di Afrika

BOSTON – Pada bulan Februari lalu di Addis Ababa, menteri kesehatan negara-negara di Afrika menandatangani sebuah deklarasi yang sangat diagungkan mengenai komitmen mereka untuk mempertahankan imunisasi sebagai upaya terdepan dalam menyelamatkan anak-anak Afrika dari kematian dan penyakit. Pemenuhan komitmen ini tentu tidak akan mudah. Imunisasi bukan sekedar isu kesehatan tapi merupakan tantangan ekonomi.

Argumentasi yang mendukung vaksinasi sangat kuat. Secara global, sekitar 2-3 juta kematian anak dan 600.000 kematian dewasa dicegah setiap tahunnya melalui imunisasi. Selain itu, imunisasi dianggap sebagai salah satu bentuk intervensi kesehatan masyarakat yang paling hemat biaya untuk menurunkan morbiditas, kematian, dan kecacatan pada anak. Sebuah studi terbaru memperkirakan bahwa setiap 1 dolar yang dikeluarkan untuk biaya vaksinasi akan menghemat 16 dolar biaya-biaya akibat penyakit yang berhasil dikalahkan. Dengan memperhitungkan nilai-nilai yang diprioritaskan individu pada kehidupan yang lebih sehat dan panjang, net return dalam investasi pada imunisasi bertambah menjadi 44 kali dibandingkan biayanya, dan net return ini melebihi pengeluaran untuk semua jenis vaksin.

Kemajuan yang signifikan sudah tercapai. Pada tahun 2014, sekitar 86% anak-anak menerima imunisasi yang melindungi mereka dari penyakit difteri, tetanus, dan pertusis, dibandingkan angka di tahun 1974 yang kurang dari 5%. Masih banyak lagi kemajuan besar dari segi jumlah dan vaksin yang tersedia.

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