Millions of lives saved according to new immunisation figures

9.2 million children die before reaching their fifth birthday every year. Of those, nearly a quarter of deaths could have been prevented through currently available or new vaccines.

However, new World Health Organisation (WHO) immunisation figures suggest 3.4 million deaths will be averted in the world’s poorest countries through immunisation funded by the GAVI (Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation) alliance between 2000 – 2008.

One of GAVI’s biggest success stories is the Hepatitis B vaccine which has already reached millions of children, demonstrating how vital it is to continue investing in human lives and health interventions. As a spokesperson for GAVI explains:

“Only through long term predictable funding can be guarantee that poor countries are able to improve their immunisation programmes in order to save lives… Our front-loaded effort at scaling up immunisation programmes works well, preventing millions of premature deaths and much debilitating illness, as well as ensuring immunisation’s place as a global health priority as we drive towards the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).”

These new immunisation figures were presented at a GAVI board meeting in Geneva this week and demonstrate success already achieved. In addition, a further 4 million lives will be saved from vaccinations funded through a future pledging conference they held in June 2011.

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