EHS-COVID (291) WHO/HIFA: Maintaining essential health services during the pandemic (5) Immunization against vaccine-preventable-diseases

12 May, 2021

Dear Dr. Neil and all,

I hope this email finds you well

First of all, I'm glad that we are taking a dive in this crucially important topic; as surely the pandemic has negatively affected essential health services all over the world, but particularly low-income and low-middle-income countries were highly affected.

And since immunization against COVID-19 is probably the hottest health topic at the moment, immunization against vaccine-preventable-diseases (VPDs) is somehow kept in the shadow; as national immunization programs at many developing countries are not working properly for several pandemic-related reasons like the system fatigue, shortage in health workforce and lack of resources.

Immunization programs need the same focus as the pandemic; given we are still in the era of emerging and re-emerging diseases; as neglecting the progress the world has accomplished in combating several vaccine preventable diseases might end up in the world facing future epidemics and maybe even pandemics of VPDs.

I believe further global attention should be provided to the expanded program of immunization (EPI) in conflict settings and countries suffering from already fragile health systems; as this where epidemic foci are probably evolving.

Best regards,



Dr. Noha S. Hassan; MD, FETP, MPH, PhD

Public Health Consultant



HIFA profile: Noha S Hassan (MBBCh, FETP, MPH, PhD) is a motivated and experienced public health professional with expertise in the fields of public health, preventive medicine, social medicine, epidemiology and health policy. Noha has experience as a qualified physician/ paediatrician in the areas of child's health, women's and maternal health in addition to experience in the domains of human development, humanitarian aids of vulnerable groups and global health as a volunteer medical student. Based in Cairo, Egypt, she is the regional coordinator for HIFA Country Representatives in the EMRO region.

Email: Noha.salah.abdelsamie AT