A new partnership was announced today, injecting additional funding into the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation’s (GAVI) efforts to help save millions of children. His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation entered into a partnership in which each committed US$ 50 million for immunisation programmes in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
GAVI will receive US$ 66 million to buy and deliver additional supplies of the five-in-one pentavalent vaccine and to support the introduction of new pneumococcal vaccines in Afghanistan. These vaccines help protect children from the main killers of children under five, including pneumonia, diphtheria, pertussis (whooping cough), tetanus, hepatitis B, Haemophilus influenzae type B (HiB), which causes meningitis.
“Private donations like this send a clear signal to our government donors that they are not alone in seeing the value of immunisation,” said Dagfinn Høybråten, Chair of the GAVI Alliance board.
Backed by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and an increasing number of sovereign governments since its launch in 2000, the GAVI Alliance has succeeded in immunising more than 288 million children, preventing more than five million premature deaths, according to WHO figures.
If fully funded, the GAVI Alliance will be able to immunise an additional 230 million children with pentavalent vaccine by 2015, and protect 90 million children with new pneumococcal vaccines which are already being introduced in the first of more than 40 developing countries. GAVI also plans to introduce vaccines against rotavirus in 33 countries.
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