Many of the world's deadliest diseases can be prevented by vaccinations. However, for families living in poverty, access to health care is often limited, which places children at greater risk of diseases such as polio, tuberculosis and malaria. Despite the challenges faced by governments and nonprofit organizations around the world in expanding access to immunizations to children in need and their families, the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization has made significant progress toward its goal of immunizing a quarter of a billion children by 2015.
The alliance was launched in 2000 thanks to a grant of $750 million provided by The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Since the organization's founding, immunization rates worldwide have increased by 10 percent, and childhood mortality caused by preventable diseases has been nearly halved, from 12 million deaths in 1990 to around 6.5 million today.
Recently, officials from the alliance convened in Sweden for its official mid-term review. Speaking at the event, GAVI CEO Seth Berkley emphasized the importance of the program and the difference it has made to children around the world.
"I am pleased that our partners recognize the fantastic progress by the GAVI Alliance that has put us firmly on track to reach our goal of immunizing an additional quarter of a billion children by 2015, saving 4 million lives," Berkley said.
For 75 years, ChildFund has worked in some of the world's poorest countries to help provide children and their families with the lifesaving health care they need, including vaccinations against preventable diseases such as polio.
In Indonesia, we worked with UNICEF to provide polio vaccinations to more than 24 million children after the country experienced a resurgence of the disease in 2005. Uganda is another country in which many children go without immunizations. Since beginning operations in Uganda in 1980, ChildFund has supported 50 community-based organizations in the country's poorest communities to provide families with vaccinations, as well as malarial and diarrhea prevention services.
We could not help as many children without the support of our child sponsors and monthly giving partners. Although preventable diseases such as polio have been largely eradicated in the developed world, these infections pose a serious threat to the lives of children living in poverty. Please consider supporting our work by becoming a child sponsor or monthly giving partner today and help us save lives. and help us save lives.