Seth Berkley speech underlines broader consequences of vaccination for economic development
GAVI CEO, Seth Berkley, delivering the fourth annual Manhiça Foundation lecture - "Miracle of Vaccines" - at Maputo University's Faculty of Medicine.
Photo credit: Eva-Lotta Jansson/2012.
Maputo, Mozambique, 12 March 2012 – GAVI CEO Seth Berkley underlined the extraordinary potential of a new generation of life-saving vaccines for African development in a landmark global health speech on Monday.
“Vaccination has a broad development impact that stretches far beyond the immediate benefits to a child’s health,” said Dr. Berkley, who was delivering the fourth annual Manhiça Foundation lecture – the Miracle of Vaccines - at Maputo University’s Faculty of Medicine.
“Healthier children can attend school and learn more effectively. They also live longer – a one year increase in life expectancy increases labour productivity by four percent.”
According to a study by David Bloom, vaccination leads to increased cognitive ability and a higher earning potential in adulthood.
countries account for the over 19 million unimmunised children in the
world; seven lie on the African continent,” said Dr. Berkley on his first
official visit to Africa since joining GAVI last year.
With GAVI support, African countries have the opportunity to introduce new vaccines against pneumococcal disease and rotavirus, the primary causes of pneumonia and diarrhoea respectively and biggest killers of under-fives in the developing world.
year, more than half a million children die of pneumococcal disease, of
which 90 percent are born in Africa,” said Dr. Berkley.
By the end of 2016, GAVI expects to help globally immunise 13.6 million children against pneumococcal disease.
As part of his three-day visit to Mozambique, Dr. Berkley will be discussing the country's own preparations for pneumococcal vaccine introduction with the Ministry of Health.
Dr. Berkley started his visit by meeting with Premier Aires Ali, who pledged his support for immunisation in Mozambique; he will also be visiting GAVI partners on the ground, WHO and UNICEF.
Mozambique was one of the first countries to receive GAVI support in 2001; last
October, GAVI approved Maputo’s application for pneumococcal vaccine
support - recognition that 13% of under-five deaths in Mozambique are
caused by pneumonia.
However, while Mozambique has made advances in vaccination over the last decade, there are signs that an additional push for routine immunisation is needed, particularly in health worker
capacity and cold chain storage. Slight increases in measles' cases have also led to concerns about the level of protection achieved across the country.
Dr. Berkley also highlighted the role that non-governmental organisations can play in facilitating vaccination delivery, pointing to Village Reach's pioneering work in Cabo Delgado as one potential model for Mozambique.
Vaccination has a broad development impact that stretches far beyond the immediate benefits to a child’s health.
Dr. Seth Berkley, CEO, GAVI Alliance
Renaissance age of vaccines
likened the recent flux of new vaccines to a “Renaissance age” of new
vaccines. In the two decades from 1980-99, three new vaccines were developed; in the following two decades, it is expected that more than 12 will come on to the market.
my father was born in the 1900s, there was only one vaccine. When I was
born, there were a handful more. Now, my children have access to many
many more,” he said.
HPV and rubella
Last November, GAVI took the first steps towards offering support for two new vaccines: HPV and rubella.
is the main cause of cervical cancer, which kills over 270,000 women
every year; 85 percent of deaths occur in developing countries while in Mozambique more than 33 percent of women's cancer is cervical cancer.
also listed other new vaccines that could benefit Africa in the near
future: conjugated typhoid vaccine and malaria.
over three million recorded cases of malaria infection in Mozambique
each year, the Manhiça Foundation is playing a lead role in conducting
phase III trials of a potential breakthrough vaccine against malaria.
Berkley is the third high-level representative from GAVI to deliver the
Manhiça Foundation lecture on global health in the past four years.
Former Vaccine Fund Chair Graça Machel and Her Royal Highness the Infanta
Cristina, Director of the International Area of "La Caixa" and an important supporter of GAVI, delivered the keynote address in 2010 and 2011 respectively.
The lecture was chaired by Dr. Pascoal Mocumbi, former Mozambican Premier (1994-2004) and President of the Manhiça Foundation.