In Practice

The Expanded Programme on Immunisation in South Africa: A story yet to be told

Nonhlanhla R Dlamini, Popo Maja


During the past two decades, immunisation has saved millions of lives and prevented countless illnesses and disabilities in South Africa
(SA). However, vaccine-preventable diseases are still a threat. A vaccine-preventable disease that might lead to a 1- or 2-week illness in an
adult, could prove deadly for infants, children or elderly people. Vaccination protects oneself and one’s family. For example, adults are the
most common source of pertussis (whooping cough) infection in infants, which can be deadly for the latter. This article demonstrates the
commitment of the SA government to immunisation, highlights key milestones of the Expanded Programme on Immunisation (EPI) and
dispels the myth that the EPI in SA is in shambles.

Authors' affiliations

Nonhlanhla R Dlamini, Child, Youth and School Health: National Department of Health, Pretoria

Popo Maja, Communication and Stakeholder Engagement: National Department of Health, Pretoria

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Expanded Programme on Immunisation; South Africa

Cite this article

South African Medical Journal 2016;106(7):675-677. DOI:10.7196/SAMJ.2016.v106i7.10956

Article History

Date submitted: 2016-04-25
Date published: 2016-06-17

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