Devi Thomas, Director, Shot@Life
January is always one of my favorite times of the year. We establish goals and resolutions for the year while reflecting on successes and accomplishments of the year that just concluded. 2014 brought many successes for those of us working to protect children from vaccine-preventable diseases.
At Shot@Life we devoted much of 2014 to raising awareness and funding to support Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance and their efforts to protect the world’s most vulnerable children from pneumonia. As one of the world’s deadliest diseases, pneumonia kills more children than AIDS, malaria and measles combined, with almost two million children dying globally each year.
Supported by a dedicated network of nearly 600 Shot@Life Champions across the United States, combined with a generous match from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Shot@Life raised more than $399,000 in December to support Gavi and their work to combat pneumonia. This money will provide nearly 80,000 vaccines to children who need them most.
A clinic in Republic of Congo introduces the pneumococcal vaccine. Credit: GAVI/Evelyn Hockstein.
2014 also brought about so many positive stories of success in the fight against pneumonia. Countries like Niger made great strides to protect their children from this deadly vaccine-preventable disease. In August, Niger joined a growing list of nations who introduced vaccines against pneumococcal disease- vaccinating nearly a million children. These introductions see Niger play its part in the 2025 integrated Global Action Plan for the Prevention and Control of Pneumonia and Diarrhea, which aims to see childhood deaths due to pneumonia and diarrhea eliminated by 2025.
Although 2014 was a hugely successful year, there is so much more work to be done. Shot@Life looks forward to an even more prosperous and productive 2015 as we continue our support for the United Nations and Gavi working together to give every child around the globe a healthy shot at life.
Devi’s blog 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.