Africa: Gavi On Track to Immunize One-Quarter Billion Children By 2015
Tuesday, October 15, 2013
The GAVI alliance – a public-private global health partnership previously known as the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization – has announced it is on track to immunize a quarter of a billion children against killer diseases by 2015. The organization said nearly four million children’s lives will be saved thanks to these additional vaccinations.
GAVI said it is reaching record numbers of children with life-saving vaccines. It said more countries than ever are introducing new vaccines, averting many deaths and improving the health and wellbeing of millions of people.
Pneumonia and diarrhea are the two biggest child killers in the world. The price of the pneumococcal and rotavirus vaccines, which protect against these illnesses, has gone down dramatically, making them affordable for children in developing countries.
GAVI introduced pentavalent vaccines in 2001 with the aim of reaching all 73 GAVI-eligible countries by 2014. These vaccines offer protection against five diseases – diptheria, tetanus, pertussis, hepatitis, and haemophilus influenzae type b.
GAVI chief executive officer Seth Berkley said the widespread use of these vaccines in the poorer countries is an essential step towards achieving the Millennium Development Goal of reducing the under-5 mortality rate by two-thirds by 2015. He said pentavalent vaccines now are available in 72 of the 73 GAVI countries.
- Health Care