Poorly designed and archaic supply chains have undermined delivery of vaccines to populations at risk of contracting infectious diseases in developing world, said a new report published by the journal Vaccine and released in Nairobi on Monday.

Researchers who compiled the report noted that in 2015 alone, an estimated 19.5 million infants globally missed vaccination leading to 1.5 million preventable deaths. “The daily struggle to deliver vaccines to communities is a concern and a source of frustration for researchers, manufacturers, donors and health practitioners,” said the report.

It adds that flawed delivery systems have either delayed or undermined the impact of vaccines in disease prevention and control. According to the report, one in five African children is yet to receive life saving vaccination and in 2014 alone, an estimated 42 percent of all global deaths from measles were recorded in the continent.

The report hails massive investments in development of novel vaccines to combat infectious diseases but regretted the scenario is different when it comes to their delivery to end users. “Unresolved supply chain issues are stalling new vaccine introduction, contributing to stock-outs and constraining coverage,” noted the report, adding that bad roads, erratic power supply and inadequate personnel continue to hobble immunization programs in developing countries.

It calls on countries to take proactive measures to modernize their vaccine supply chains in order to combat a rising burden of infectious diseases effectively. Researchers noted there is a firm consensus among governments that the current immunization supply chains were designed for a bygone era and must be redesigned to inject efficiency and achieve optimum results. “Fundamental areas that must be improved as we develop the next generation of immunization supply chains include leadership, oversight, design, data and cold chain equipment,” said the researchers. They urged immunization stakeholders including governments and industry to invest in innovations that can boost efficiency in the supply chains.

Source: Xinhua/NewsGhana.com.gh