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22 January 2015

A Birthday Gift to Last a Lifetime

Source: The Huffington Post

For most people a birthday is a cause for celebration, and today, 15 years after Gavi was first born -- right here at the World Economic Forum. in Davos -- is certainly no exception. But for millions of children living in the poorest parts of the world a birthday means so much more, and is a truly life-changing milestone. That's because growing up for example in sub-Saharan Africa, you are 15 times less likely to live long enough to see your fifth birthday, compared to children in wealthier parts of the world.

11 January 2015

The United States should generously support Gavi's immunization efforts

Source: The Washington Post

AN IMPORTANT conference is to be held in Berlin on Jan. 27 to secure financial replenishment for Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, a multilateral nonprofit that for 15 years has been bringing vaccines to children in the world’s 73 poorest nations. Many attendees will be watching to see what the United States pledges to the effort for the next few years. It ought to be generous. Vaccines, which prevent disease, are one of the most cost-effective ways to improve global public health. Gavi, originally known as the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation, had its origins in worries about declining global immunization rates. Since its founding in 2000 at the behest of Bill Gates, the alliance has helped immunize 440 million children and estimates it has saved more than 6 million lives. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is a major donor.

06 January 2015

Gates Foundation Uses Art to Encourage Vaccination

Source: The New York Times

Artists, it’s fair to say, usually don’t know much about bacteria. Vik Muniz is an exception. Mr. Muniz, the Brazilian-born photographer known for his unorthodox materials, has been working with the M.I.T. bioengineer and designer Tal Danino on a series of trompe l’oeil images of microscopic organisms: cancer cells, healthy cells and bacteria. At first glance, they look like ornate and colorful patterns. In reality, they represent teeming, living things. Among his latest: a pink print that could pass for floral wallpaper. But it’s made up of liver cells infected with the Vaccinia virus, which is used to make the smallpox vaccine. “Normally, patterns are soothing structures,” Mr. Muniz said, “and all of a sudden, there’s a lot of drama.” The work now has another meaning. It will be used in a new online campaign, The Art of Saving a Life, sponsored by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The intent is to promote vaccination just in time for an international effort to raise funds to inoculate millions, especially in poor nations.

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