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Health

G-A-V-I ...vaccine preventable diseases goodbye!

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Did you know that an astonishing 19 million children miss out on the most basic package of routine vaccines recommended by World Health Organization?

This sounds a little unfair to me don’t you think?

Luckily there is an organization called Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance that has been incredibly successful in getting vaccines to children in the poorest countries in the world.

Girl receiving oral polio vaccineYoung girl receiving oral polio vaccine
Image: CDC Global

Here are a couple of things about Gavi we thought you should know--

60% of annual births are in 73 Gavi supported countries. This high birth rate consequently leads to an increased demand for vaccines.  To help meet this demand, Gavi works across public and private sectors in their 73 supported countries to help make vaccines more affordable. This allows for vaccinations to reach vulnerable populations, particularly children.

A low income country contributes US $0.20 per dose for a vaccine with Gavi covering the rest. However, the ultimate goal is to have countries self-financing their immunisation programs. To date, nearly 20 countries are on their way to becoming independent of Gavi. This is a huge achievement that Gavi is very proud of--as they’ve been working hard to ensure this transition to self-financing is sustainable and cutting down on coverage inequality.



Vaccines are the most cost-effective way to advance global health, which is why everyone needs to get behind Gavi’s efforts.

Gavi recently released their 2014 Annual Report highlighting the outstanding work they’ve done throughout the year.

So what does this success look like?


via GIPHY

Child mortality in children under 5 years old fell from 77 deaths to 69 deaths per 1000 live births between 2010 and 2013 because of the acceleration of Gavi-supported vaccines.

and

3.1 million were prevented because of Gavi’s work  funding vaccine campaigns in developing countries between 2011 to 2014.

Of course this great work cannot be done alone. Gavi works with many dedicated partners such as UNICEF, the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, World Health Organization, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and USAID. Increasing access to vaccines in the developing world is one of Gavi’s primary goals.

For a better understanding of how Gavi works, let’s take a look at India.

In 2014, India was declared Polio free! This is an achievement many doubted would ever happen--especially considering that up until 2009, India accounted for half of the Polio case in the world. In partnership with Gavi, the new government’s eagerness to introduce vaccines resulted in the tremendously successful Universal Immunisation Programme. This success illustrates that Gavi’s model works - millions of lives are being saved, health systems are being strengthened, and governments are investing in immunization programs.

Last October, India was able to scale up its coverage of the pentavalent vaccine (which combats preventable diseases such as diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, Hepatitis-B, and Haemophilus influenzae Type B). Gavi helped accelerate access to vaccines through immunization campaigns emphasizing that children received all the dosages required. The partnership between Gavi and India has been so successful that in 2016, the Indian Government will take up the full? cost of the pentavalent vaccine. With initiatives like this in 73 countries, Gavi is working hard to achieve its long-term goal of reducing global childhood mortality overall.

Children Reading Pratham Books and AksharaImage: Pratham Books

Gavi has helped immunize more than half a billion children so far around the world and prevented over 6 million deaths from vaccine preventable diseases. The death of one child is already too much-- there is a lot we can do to reach children who lack access to vaccinations. Gavi’s immunization initiatives illustrate the power of equal access for all children.  

So let’s not overlook this life saving tool to alleviate extreme poverty by 2030 because #vaccineswork

You can TAKE ACTION NOW by calling on leaders to support the vaccination efforts around the world.