Drive to secure a healthy future for children in developing countries
Credit: World Health Organization/2014.
Geneva, 23 April 2014 - As five African countries prepare to celebrate World Immunization Week (24-30 April) with the impending introduction of new vaccines, the GAVI Alliance is finalising plans to build on its successes with a major drive to increase access to vaccines and the impact of immunisation programmes by 2020.
This week, Angola and the Republic of Congo plan to begin protecting their children against severe diarrhoea with the rotavirus vaccine while Tanzania expects to begin a demonstration project to protect girls from the leading cause of cervical cancer with the human papillomavirus vaccine. Next week, Madagascar plans to also introduce rotavirus vaccine and Togo expects to undertake a dual launch of rotavirus and pneumococcal conjugate vaccines.
While these launches are taking place, the GAVI Alliance will be preparing for a key meeting to be held next month in Brussels, where the Alliance will set out the significantly increased impact that can be achieved by supporting immunisation programmes in the world’s poorest countries through to 2020.
We are on the eve of a unprecedented expansion of vaccination programmes
Dagfinn Høybråten, Chair of the GAVI Alliance
European Commissioner for Development, Andris Piebalgs, will host the meeting on May 20 where GAVI Alliance will present to its partners the funding requirements needed during the five-year period from the beginning of 2016 to build upon the gains already achieved against the biggest killers of children.
“We are on the eve of a unprecedented expansion of vaccination programmes,” said Dagfinn Høybråten, Chair of the GAVI Alliance. “Since 2000, GAVI Alliance partners have vaccinated an additional 440 million children, saving six million lives. In Brussels, we will present an historical opportunity to go even further and secure a healthy future for a generation of vaccinated children in developing countries, a generation that hold the keys to their countries’ futures.”
Immunisation is widely recognised as one of the most successful and cost-effective health interventions ever introduced, preventing between 2 and 3 million deaths every year. Yet each year more than 22 million children - many of them in the poorest and most remote communities - have little or no access to a full course of the most basic vaccines. One in five of all children who die before the age of five lose their lives to vaccine-preventable diseases.
Central to the Alliance’s on-going drive to immunise more children has been an unprecedented acceleration in the number of new vaccines introduced by the 73 countries that receive GAVI support. Between 2011 and the end of 2013, 93 new vaccine introductions were initiated with GAVI support and a further 50 are projected for 2014.
In 2011, donors backed the Alliance with US$ 7.4 billion of funding for programmes from 2011 to 2015. The Alliance set itself the target of immunising nearly a quarter of a billion children, during that period. Last October in Stockholm, the GAVI Mid-Term Review confirmed that the Alliance partners are on track to meet this goal.
The GAVI Alliance is funded by governments (Australia, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Republic of Korea, Russia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom, and United States), the European Commission, the OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID), the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, as well as private and corporate partners (Absolute Return for Kids, Anglo American plc., the A&A Foundation, The Children’s Investment Fund Foundation, Comic Relief, the ELMA Vaccines and Immunization Foundation, JP Morgan, “la Caixa” Foundation, LDS Charities, Lions Club International Foundation, and Vodafone).
Click to view the full donor list.