Vaccination works: delivering on the promise to save children’s lives

13 June 2012 marks the one-year anniversary of Saving Children’s Lives: The GAVI Alliance pledging conference for immunisation.

Last year’s conference saw donors come forward with US$4.3 billion in pledges, more than doubling resources for GAVI to support low-income countries to immunise over 250 million children and avert nearly 4 million future deaths by 2015.

Progress one year on

Save the Children’s new briefing, One Year On: Delivering on the promise of vaccines for all, reports on progress on commitments and impacts of funding.

All disbursements scheduled for 2011 have been made, with not a single donor reneging on their promise.

Money disbursed by donors a year after the Pledging Conference could enable over 60 million children to be immunised, averting nearly 1 million deaths in the future.

Nine countries have now rolled out new vaccines that will help protect over 8 million children against pneumococcal disease and rotavirus – major causes of pneumonia and severe diarrhoea, which are responsible for over 2 million deaths globally each year.

Ghana has recently rolled out these vaccines simultaneously in a step to protect its children against these two deadly diseases.

Vaccination works

Vaccination works and every child has the right to it as part of their right to health. Unfortunately this is not a reality for one-fifth of children worldwide.

Countries with the biggest numbers of unimmunised children also have the highest under-five mortality rates.

Vaccination is important in reducing child mortality and achieving Millennium Development Goal 4, as part of an essential package of health services. However, concerted effort must be made to ensure that no child is left behind.

Save the Children’s recent report, Finding the Final Fifth: Inequalities in immunisation, identifies who the final fifth of unimmunised children are and why they aren’t being reached.

It makes a strong case for addressing inequalities in immunisation, as well as the importance of having a strong health system in place to ensure immunisation becomes a reality for all children.

 

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