UNICEF Ethiopia/Flickr

Des convictions salvatrices

GENEVE – Le sort de plus de deux cents jeunes filles enlevées dans le nord du Nigéria est un rappel brutal de la grande vulnérabilité des enfants en Afrique – surtout des jeunes filles. Mais il est tout aussi important de reconnaître que ceci ne reflète pas véritablement l’Afrique moderne, ni le fait que les dirigeants africains sont fermement engagés dans la protection des enfants de leurs pays. Leur capacité à protéger les enfants comme ils le sont dans les pays riches exige deux ingrédients essentiels : partenariat et conviction.

C’est parce qu’en dépit de la menace insidieuse que représente le terrorisme, le plus grand danger pour les enfants africains est la maladie, qui peut le plus souvent être prévenue par des campagnes régulières de vaccinations. En effet, à l’heure où le monde débat de la meilleure manière de récupérer les jeunes filles enlevées, une autre menace refait surface : l’Organisation Mondiale de la Santé a récemment déclaré que la propagation de la polio est désormais une urgence de santé publique internationale ; plusieurs pays africains posent aujourd’hui un risque permanent de propagation de la maladie.

Heureusement, il y des moyens immédiats et tangibles pour combattre la polio ainsi qu’une série d’autres maladies qui pourraient être prévenues par un vaccin et qui continuent de tuer des victimes innocentes en Afrique et au-delà. Les dirigeants africains reconnaissent en outre que la meilleure manière de protéger durablement les enfants est par une immunisation systématique. Au début du mois, les dirigeants africains réunis à Abuja, capitale du Nigéria, ont signé la déclaration ‘Regard sur 2020 : l’Afrique vaccine’, s’engageant ainsi pour un avenir sain et durable pour la jeunesse de leurs pays.

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