Cynthia Chen — May 11, 2011 – 11:57 am.
Last Month, various ACTION partners intensified their work towards a successful pledging conference for the GAVI Alliance. RESULTS Australia, RESULTS Canada, RESULTS Educational Fund, RESULTS Japan, and RESULTS UK are asking their governments to make or reaffirm robust pledges during the GAVI pledging conference on June 13 in London. Since its inception in 2000, GAVI has supported the immunization of nearly 300 million children and prevented an estimated 5 million deaths. With funding from ACTION partner countries — Australia, Canada, Japan, the U.S., and U.K. — and other donors, GAVI works with developing countries, drug companies, and leading health experts to buy and distribute vaccines to regions with a high burden of preventable infectious diseases.
Currently, pneumonia and diarrhea are the two leading killers of kids under five. Every year, 800,000 children die from pneumococcal disease and 500,000 children die from rotavirus attributed acute diarrhea. The majority of these deaths occurs in Africa and Asia and are preventable. Thanks to two new vaccines within GAVI’s portfolio that protect against the main causes of these conditions, pneumococcal disease and rotavirus, we have the opportunity to prevent the deaths of 4.2 million children worldwide by 2015. Yet, despite this staggering volume of preventable deaths, of the 129 million babies born in 2008, only 7 percent received the pneumococcal vaccine and only 8 percent received the rotavirus vaccines.
On June 13, donors will gather at a pledging conference in London to announce their contributions to the GAVI Alliance. Vaccines offer the best value for money in global health — with just one shot, they provide a lifetime of protection, which not only keeps kids healthy, it also reduces the burden on fragile health care systems so they can devote more attention to other ailments.
Read the action alert for U.S. advocates and feel free to alter for use in your own country.