Iceland pledges US$1 million to immunise children in Malawi

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Iceland becomes Gavi’s newest donor with historic pledge.

Iceland Malawi statement

Credit: Gavi/2011/Tormod Simensen.

Geneva, Reykjavik, 15 January 2019 - Hundreds of thousands of children in Malawi will be protected against some of the world’s deadliest diseases thanks to a new US$1 million pledge to Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, from Iceland. The new funding will be delivered over three years until 2021. It is the country’s first ever pledge to Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance.

“I’d like to offer a sincere thank you to the government and people of Iceland for this new pledge,” said Dr Seth Berkley, CEO of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance. “With Gavi’s support Malawi has made incredible progress over the past 18 years: now almost nine in every ten children receive basic vaccines. Iceland’s help will now be crucial to help us reach that tenth child, as well as continue to expand access to newer vaccines, including major killers of women like cervical cancer as well as the two largest killers of children: pneumonia and diarrhoea.”

”The Government of Iceland is pleased to support Gavi’s work, which has made a large impact on child mortality in the poorest countries of the world,” said Guðlaugur Þór Þórðarson, Iceland´s Minister for Foreign Affairs. “For 30 years Iceland has provided support to Malawi, including in the area of public health. The new agreement with Gavi is in line with the special focus we have placed on reducing maternal and child mortality, contributing to the remarkable drop in infant mortality in Malawi.”

Iceland’s contribution will be used to fund Gavi’s programme in Malawi, where basic immunisation coverage has increased from just 64% in 2002 to 88% in 2018. Under-five mortality has dropped by almost two thirds over the same period, from 146 to 55 in every thousand children. Gavi now supports vaccination programmes protecting against 10 deadly diseases in the country: measles, polio, cervical cancer, rotavirus, pneumococcal disease, diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, hepatitis B, Haemophilus Influenza type B (Hib).

Gavi works with countries to protect children in 68 of the world’s poorest countries against some of the world’s leading killers of children, like pneumonia, diarrhoea and measles. Since its inception in 2000, Gavi has immunised over 700 million children, saving 10 million lives.

 

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