News / Africa

Protecting Millions of Children from Killer Diseases

Multimedia

Audio
Joe DeCapua

A new plan’s been announced to immunize 240 million additional children in developing countries over the next five years.  However, the project depends on raising billions of dollars in funding.

The GAVI Alliance, a Geneva-based public private partnership, says millions of lives could be saved.  The project was announced in the Rwandan capital, Kigali, Wednesday during a meeting of the GAVI Alliance Board.

GAVI spokesperson Dan Thomas says, “Our mission is to save lives and improve people’s health in the world’s poorest countries by increasing access to immunization and health services.”

Thinking big about two big killers

Thomas says, ‘We have an ambitious target of saving four million lives in the next five years in order to achieve the Millennium Development Goals.  And to do that, we need almost $4 billion.”

The GAVI proposal targets preventable diseases.  “We have new vaccines against the two biggest killers of children.  They tackle pneumonia and diarrhea,” he says, adding, “We’re ready to roll them out in more than 40 of the world’s poorest countries.  We have a platform in place, which is already reaching almost four out of five children with routine immunization.  And if we can get the funds we need…we can save four million lives.”

The project is partially funded at this stage.  The total cost is nearly $7 billion and some donors have already pledged $3.1 billion.  That leaves a nearly $4 billion shortfall.

“The world is in the middle of a financial crisis and we recognize that,” says Thomas, “The donor nations that have been supporting us since 2000 are all suffering from the consequences of that economic crisis.  So we’re having to work extra hard to persuade them that, if they’re going to spend money on development, the GAVI Alliance is really a very cost effective intervention and well worth the investment,” says Thomas.

The benefits

The GAVI Alliance believes there would be wide-ranging and long-term benefits if the immunization program is carried out.

“The thing about immunization is it prevents disease,” says Thomas, “It saves families an enormous amount of time and money that could otherwise be lost on medical treatment and caring for sick children.  You know, parents have to take time off work.  They spend every penny they have to keep their children alive.”

He adds, “For a few dollars you can protect children for life.”

GAVI says if it gets the full funding, it also plans to speed introduction of routine meningitis vaccination.

You May Like

China Investigates Former Powerful Security Chief

Former security chief and member of Politburo Standing Committee, Zhou Yongkang, under investigation for suspected 'serious disciplinary violation' More

India, US Look to Reset Ties During Kerry Visit

This week's talks will be first high level interaction between two countries since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took charge More

Video Young African Leadership Program Renamed to Honor Mandela

YALI program, launched by President Obama in 2010, aims to build skills in business, entrepreneurship, public management and civic leadership More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid