News / Health

Global Immunization: Despite Successes, Much More To Do

Global Immunization: Despite Successes, Much More to Doi
X
May 08, 2013 10:36 PM
Every 20 seconds, a child dies from a disease that could have been prevented with a safe and effective vaccine, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. VOA's Carol Pearson takes a look at the status of global immunization efforts and what's still needed to reduce the number of preventable deaths in this report voiced by Rob Sivak.
Carol Pearson
Every 20 seconds, a child dies from a disease that could have been prevented with a safe and effective vaccine, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Measles is one of the leading causes of childhood deaths worldwide. Not only does measles kill, but it can leave children blind, deaf or developmentally disabled, even while they are still in their mothers' wombs. Yet the disease can be prevented with just two doses of a safe and inexpensive vaccine.

When measles broke out in the U.S. state of North Carolina earlier this year, Pamela McCall was one of the health officials who tracked down the cases.

"It is one of those immunizations required for school entry, so most people, most children, are vaccinated and most people are vaccinated against it," said McCall.

That's why fewer than a dozen people in North Carolina actually got the disease.  In the U.S., vaccines have made many diseases rare, or non-existent. Dr. Chesley Richards is with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“Vaccines have made an enormous impact on improving health in the United States. Diseases like smallpox, measles, polio, they’ve been eliminated or eradicated in the United States and in the case of smallpox, it’s been eradicated worldwide," said Richards.

But there's much more to be done.  A long-sought vaccine against malaria could save some of the more than 660,000 people, mostly children, killed each year by the mosquito-borne parasite.

The Centers for Disease Control says vaccines give children a chance to grow up healthy, go to school, and improve their lives.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, with the National Institutes of Health, agrees.

"If you had to pick out one intervention, if you balance the investment that you make in the research and the implementation and the health benefits, vaccines have to be at either the top of the list or very much on the short list," said Fauci.

Since the Measles and Rubella Initiative was launched twelve years ago, worldwide measles deaths have been reduced by nearly 75 percent, according to the CDC.

Besides preventing many childhood diseases, vaccines also protect against hepatitis, influenza, and even cervical  cancer.  Soon, they may free the world from the scourge of polio.

Dr. Fauci says vaccines cut health-care costs because preventing a disease is cheaper than treating one.

The World Health Organization is urging countries around the world to invest more in immunization programs so more children can grow up healthy and strong.

You May Like

China’s Influence Grows With New Infrastructure Bank

Multibillion-dollar China-backed and BRICS-supported Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank seen as possible challenger to such lenders as IMF, World Bank More

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

Rabbi Michel Serfaty makes the rounds in his friendship bus to encourage dialogue and break down barriers between the two groups More

Post-deal Iran Leaders Need 'Economic Momentum' to Solidify

Economists say deal could inject more than $100 billion into coffers - not enough to entirely rescue ailing economy - but maybe adequate to create 'economic momentum' More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Gay Marriage Ruling Yields Real-life Impacti
X
Michael Bowman
June 28, 2015 10:05 PM
Friday’s landmark Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage throughout the United States is an outcome few thought possible just years ago, and shows a nation that increasingly tolerates and even celebrates the hopes and aspirations of gay people. VOA’s Michael Bowman spoke to a same-sex couple that will benefit from the high court ruling, and to a Christian scholar who is apprehensive about its potential consequences for America’s faith community.
Video

Video US Gay Marriage Ruling Yields Real-life Impact

Friday’s landmark Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage throughout the United States is an outcome few thought possible just years ago, and shows a nation that increasingly tolerates and even celebrates the hopes and aspirations of gay people. VOA’s Michael Bowman spoke to a same-sex couple that will benefit from the high court ruling, and to a Christian scholar who is apprehensive about its potential consequences for America’s faith community.
Video

Video Syrians Flee IS Advance in Hasaka

The Syrian government said Monday it has taken back one of several districts in Hasaka overrun by Islamic State militants. But continued fighting elsewhere in the northern city has forced thousands of civilians from their homes. In this report narrated by Bill Rodgers, VOA Kurdish Service reporter Zana Omer describes the scene in Amouda, where some of the displaced are taking refuge.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video S. Korea Christians Protest Gay Rights Festival

The U.S. Supreme Court decision mandating marriage equality nationwide has energized gay rights supporters around the world. Gay rights remain a highly contentious issue in a key U.S. ally, South Korea, where police did a deft job Sunday of preventing potential clashes between Christian protesters and gay activists. Kurt Achin reports from Seoul.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Nubians in Kenya Face Land Challenges

East Africa's ethnic Nubians have a rich cultural history that dates back thousands of years, but in Kenya they are facing hardships, including the loss of lands they have lived on for generations. They say the government has reneged on its pledge to award them title deeds for the plots. VOA's Lenny Ruvaga reports.
Video

Video Syrian Refugees Return to Tal Abyad

Syrian refugees in Turkey confirm they left their hometown of Tal Abyad because of intense fighting and coalition airstrikes, not because Kurdish fighters were engaged in ethnic cleansing, as some Turkish officials charged. VOA Kurdish Service reporter Zana Omer, in Tal Abyad, finds that civilians coming back to the town agree, as we hear in this report narrated by Roger Wilkison.
Video

Video Military Experts Question New Russian Tank Capabilities

Russia has been showing off its new tank design – the Armata T-14. Designers claim it is 20 years ahead of current Western designs - and driving it feels like playing a computer game. But military analysts question those assertions, and warn the cost could be too heavy a burden for Russia’s struggling economy. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.
Video

Video In Syrian Crisis, Social Media Offer Small Comforts

Za’atari, a makeshift city in Jordan, may be the only Syrian refugee camp to tweet its activities, in an effort to keep donors motivated as the war in Syria intensifies and the humanitarian crisis deepens. Inside the camp, families say mobile phone applications help hold together families that are physically torn apart. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.
Video

Video Chemical-Sniffing Technology Fights Australia's Graffiti Vandals

Cities and towns all over the world spend huge amounts of resources battling graffiti writers who deface buildings, public transport vehicles and even monuments. Authorities in Sydney, Australia, hope a new chemical-sniffing technology finally will stop vandals from scribbling on walls in the passenger areas of commuter trains. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Cambodia Struggling to Curb Child Labor

Earlier this year a United Nations report found 10 percent of Cambodian children aged 7-14 are working – one of the highest rates in the region – and said one in four children in that age bracket are forced to quit school to help their families. Although the child labor rate has dropped over the past decade, Cambodia has a lot more to do – including keeping more children in school. Robert Carmichael reports for VOA from Phnom Penh.

VOA Blogs