Addressing the "To the Point" Plenary, GAVI CEO Dr Seth Berkley explained why vaccination today ensures young girls grow into healthy and fulfilled women tomorrow. Here’s a quick guide to the key excerpts.
Watch video of GAVI CEO Seth Berkley
Equal access to vaccines
"This Tanzanian woman has cervical cancer. She was
first misdiagnosed as having a sexually transmitted infection. Eighteen months
later, she was told she had late stage cervical cancer. A widow with four kids,
she had to sell her mattress to pay the bus fare for the 1,000 km journey from
Mbeya to get treatments at the cancer hospital in Dar es Salaam. She told us
that after radiotherapy, she hopes to go back home and see her kids."
"By the time I finish this presentation another five
women will have died of cervical cancer. Over a quarter of a million women die
from cervical cancer every year – most of them live in developing
countries. Cervical cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths in many
countries, including those we support."
"In developing countries, we have a triple whammy:
higher human papillomavirus (HPV) incidence, increased mortality and very
limited HPV screening."
“Cervical cancer is preventable. Vaccines can protect
against about 70% of cases by preventing human papillomavirus.”
“HPV vaccines have been available since 2006. Over 40
countries have national immunisation programs of HPV vaccines. Most of the
countries are wealthy nations – although the heaviest burden of death and
incidence is in poorer countries.”
Urgency: increasing the momentum
"Introducing the HPV vaccine is a key
opportunity to reach girls at an important time in their lives. Many girls have
only 2 chances of connecting with the health workers – as kids with
immunisation and as mothers when they deliver."
“There has been huge demand from countries for HPV
vaccines. Fifteen countries applied in
2012 for HPV demo project support and a further 15-20 are expected this year. We
will see a dramatic acceleration. By 2020, more than 30 million girls in over
40 countries will be vaccinated.”
"This month the first girl was vaccinated in Kenya
with HPV vaccines supported by GAVI through demonstration projects. Another
seven countries are going to follow over the next several months."
Opportunity to reach girls
"Vaccination is one of the most gender equitable
public health interventions ever. GAVI supports the immunisation of about 60%
of the girls born in the world"
“Vaccinating adolescent girls against HPV, is a terrific
opportunity to leverage the wide reach
of immunisation to deliver more health to girls. The HPV demo projects are
integrating other interventions – like HIV AIDS information, ARH, nutrition,
"At GAVI, we believe that everyone deserves the
same access to immunisation and health services. It should not be about where
they are born."
"If we have healthy girls, we will have healthy
"Our goal is to have all girls and boys fully
immunised. For post 2015 we’re supporting the goal of having every child
everywhere immunised against 12 diseases, making full use of the technology we
have to protect future generations against preventable diseases."