Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania – Progress is accelerating in the global effort to protect children from infectious diseases and spread the benefits of immunisation around the world. That is the message today at a global gathering of GAVI Alliance partners in Tanzania.
Since it was set up in 2000, the GAVI Alliance has supported countries to protect an additional 370 million children from potentially fatal diseases, and prevented more than 5.5 million future deaths. Progress in preventing disease has accelerated in the past three years, as new vaccines are introduced rapidly into the developing countries where they are most urgently needed.
“In the past three years, the GAVI Alliance has introduced new vaccines to protect children against the major causes of pneumonia and diarrhoea. We are extremely proud of our achievements,” said GAVI Board Chair Dagfinn Høybråten, who was re-appointed for another two-year term on Tuesday.
On Thursday morning, the Tanzanian government will simultaneously introduce two new vaccines to protect its children. One against pneumococcal disease – the primary cause of death from pneumonia in children under five – and the other against rotavirus, a leading cause of diarrhoeal disease.
“Children in Tanzania are being protected in record time,” said Minister of Health and Social Welfare Dr. Hussein Ali Mwinyi. “Thanks to the support of the GAVI Alliance, we can provide our children with the same vaccines as those given to children in the industrialised world.”
As of this week, pneumococcal vaccine has been introduced into 24 GAVI-eligible countries and rotavirus vaccine in 12 countries within the past three years, providing vital protection to some of the poorest children in the world.
Thanks to the support of the GAVI Alliance, we can provide our children with the same vaccines as those given to children in the industrialised world.
Dr. Hussein Ali Mwinyi, Minister of Health and Social Welfare of Tanzania
Strengthening routine immunisation services continues to be an important focus for GAVI, especially in countries with the greatest number of under-vaccinated children. From 2013, GAVI will be supporting countries to reduce the impact of measles and rubella through the use of a combined vaccine. Measles continues to cause high levels of mortality and disability in developing countries. Rubella is a major cause of stillbirths and miscarriages, as well as congenital disability.
GAVI continues to work with manufacturers to enhance their contribution to GAVI’s mission. GAVI will purchase over 500 million doses of measles-rubella (MR) vaccine over the next four years. Serum Institute of India is announcing today that it has offered to provide for free an additional 20 million doses, which will bring the average price to US$ 0.55 per dose. This will save GAVI US$ 11 million.
“The GAVI Alliance is moving faster than ever to deliver the benefits of immunisation to children, their families and their communities,” said Dr Seth Berkley, CEO of the GAVI Alliance. “This is a partnership that delivers results through innovative methods based on sustainable financing and increasing access to immunisation.”
The GAVI Alliance Partners’ Forum brings together more than 650 members and supporters of the alliance, including global health leaders, government ministers and civil society organisations. Over the next three days, they will be discussing their collective achievements and addressing the challenges that remain so that all children can benefit from the power of immunisation.
On Thursday, one of GAVI’s first leaders, Graça Machel, will launch the Graça Machel-Nelson Mandela Dialogue series between experts in global health. And heads of the Decade of Vaccines initiative will gather to progress these ambitious plans.
GAVI is funded by the following governments, as well as private, corporate and foundation donors: Absolute Return for Kids (ARK), Anglo American plc, Australia, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Brazil, Canada, The Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (UK), Comic Relief, Denmark, European Commission (EC), France, Germany, His Highness Sheikh Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Ireland, Italy, JP Morgan, Japan, ‘la Caixa’ Foundation, LDS Charities, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Other private donors, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom, United States of America.
Click to view the full donor list.
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Dominique De Santis
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