Tom Maguire, Campaigns Officer, RESULTS UK.
Back in November, RESULTS UK led a delegation of journalists to Tanzania to explore how the country is improving child health through expanding access to routine immunisation. Tanzania is a great example of how low national income is not a barrier to making substantial gains in child survival. With support from Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, Tanzania has reached impressive vaccine coverage rates, reaching 92% in 2012.
Despite this progress, challenges still remain with 95,000 children under the age of five continuing to die every year, predominantly from preventable conditions. With 77% of the population living in rural areas, the supply and delivery of vaccines in an uninterrupted “cold chain” is a major challenge. Furthermore, with semi-nomadic Maasai populations inhabiting the north east of the country, ensuring these communities are fully vaccinated is not an easy fleet. This photo story tracks our journey through Tanzania, from the central vaccine store in Dar es Salaam to remote dispensaries in Arusha province where vaccines are delivered to Masai children.
Tomorrow, world leaders and development ministers will gather in Berlin for the replenishment of Gavi, the vaccine alliance, which seeks to raise US$7.5 billion to immunise 300 million children between 2016 and 2020. If Gavi does not reach its funding target, children in countries like Tanzania will be denied access to immunisation and their right to live a life free from preventable diseases. It is therefore critical that all donors meet this ambition and step up to the challenge to save 5-6 million lives.
Tom’s blog was originally posted on the RESULTS site here.
His piece was kindly written in support of the Gavi pledging conference, which will take place on January 27th 2015, in Berlin.
To find out more about this opportunity to reach every child with life-saving vaccines, visit the event’s home page.