Organisation of Islamic Cooperation approves Gavi membership to key health committee

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Vaccine Alliance support already helping to immunise millions of children in OIC member states

OIC SCH Istanbul 2015

Geneva, 26 November 2015 – Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance has been officially invited to become a member of the Organisation for Islamic Cooperation’s (OIC) Steering Committee on Health.

The invitation, which recognises Gavi’s support for childhood immunisation in OIC member states, meant the Vaccine Alliance was able to participate in the 10th Steering Committee on Health (SCH) in Istanbul last week.  The SCH, set up at the first Islamic Conference of Health Ministers (ICHM) in 2007, tracks implementation of a framework for action through progress and evaluation reports.

From 2000 to 30 September 2015, Gavi provided more than US$ 4 billion to support immunisation in 33 OIC member states – equivalent to 49% of Gavi disbursements. This has helped developing countries immunise more than 210 million children, saving over four million lives.

Ambassador Mohammed Naeem Khan, Assistant Secretary-General of Science and Technology at the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), said: "We welcome Gavi as a member of SCH and highly appreciate its active support to OIC member states and look forward to further strengthening of the partnership between OIC and Gavi."

“I am delighted that the OIC recognises the importance of immunisation and Gavi’s role in supporting member states’ vaccine programmes,” said Dr Seth Berkley, CEO of Gavi. “Millions of children in Islamic countries are already being protected against potentially life-threatening illnesses. We look forward to working even more closely with our OIC partners to reach even more children.”

In addition to attending the SCH at the 5th Islamic Conference of Health Ministers (ICHM), Gavi also met with delegations from OIC member states, representatives of UN agencies and international organisations including the Islamic Development Bank, the World Health Organization (WHO), the Global Polio Eradication Initiative and The Global Fund to fight Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria and UNFPA.  The key theme of the ICHM was “Building Bridges for a Healthier Ummah (Islamic community)”, with work focused on strengthening relations between its 57 members on health issues and responding better to disease outbreaks.

Participants discussed the fight against cancer, emergency health cases, technology addiction and the contribution of non-governmental organisations to health. The Conference also assessed progress on OIC’s Strategic Health Programme of Action 2014-2023, which was adopted by the 4th ICHM in Jakarta in October 2013. The status of polio eradication efforts in OIC member countries was also reviewed as well as progress on joint projects and efforts to tackle cancer in the OIC's African member-states.

In future, Gavi will take part in discussions on OIC health priorities, providing expert advice on vaccine programmes, including methods to increase immunisation coverage and equity amongst children in OIC countries. Gavi is already engaged with the OIC through its contributions to the OIC Strategic Health Programme of Action (2014-2023) document in April 2013; the Vaccine Alliance has also been a member of the OIC’s Vaccine Manufacturing Group since June 2014. Gavi has a standing memorandum of understanding with the Islamic Development Bank – the financial arm of the OIC. 

As well as supporting eligible OIC members, Gavi is grateful to its funding partners from OIC countries – namely Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Oman, HH Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Alwaleed Philanthropies, Opec Fund and other private sector entities in the region - for their generous support.

Disbursements to OIC member states

 

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