An Introduction to Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance
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As the new millienium was ushered in 14 years ago, vaccines rates were plummeting. Even though immunization is one of the most cost-effective means to address global health threats, its importance was being overlooked.
And so, the universal political climate required a dynamic new means to bring vaccines to the forefront. This call was answered by the establishment of the Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance in 2000, bringing together donor governments, developing countries, UNICEF, the World Health Organization, the World Bank, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, civil society, and the private sector. This diverse unity worked together to help shape the vaccine market for the modern era.
Gavi’s key goal is to increase the access people living in poor countries have to immunisation, directly resulting in saving lives and protecting children’s health.
As a result, in less than 15 years, the Gavi has helped vaccinate almost half a billion additional children, saving an astonishing six million lives. Between 2000 and 2012 there was a 78% decrease in measles deaths globally - thanks to Gavi vaccination efforts.
The implications have spread across the entire poverty alleviation spectrum, with more human capital resulting in direct economic benefits. Furthermore, better health leads to better education, and coupled together this leads to more self-sufficient economies emerging in the global south.
Still though, 22 million children across the world do not have access to basic vaccines.
Despite this Gavi has broken new ground in the fight against deadly diseases such as the two leading killers of young children - pneumococcal and rotavirus disease. These two diseases are the leading vaccine-preventable causes of pneumonia and diarrhoea and account for nearly 1/3 of child deaths. Proving its merits almost half a billion times in 15 years. Looking forward, with the continued support of its contributors, the Gavi is on track to not only significantly increase its fight against deadly diseases, but playing a major role in the alleviation of extreme poverty by 2030.