GAVI's role in helping achieve the eight Millennium Development Goals
In September 2000, world leaders came together at the United Nations to set far-sighted goals for the health of children and mothers, gender equality and empowerment of women, literacy, the environment and a global partnership for development. These became known as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and laid a roadmap to a better world.
In the same year, the GAVI Alliance was established to address the urgent need to boost immunisation coverage. It was formed as an alliance in recognition that the distribution of new and underused vaccines to low-income countries was dependent on strong partnerships.
Its mission, to save children’s lives and protect people’s health by increasing access to immunisation in poor countries, recognised not only the priority of reducing child deaths due to vaccine-preventable diseases, but also the power of vaccines to provide life-long protection against debilitating illness and disease.
Since 2000, GAVI has directly supported the immunisation of 326 million children, thereby preventing over five and half million future deaths in the world’s low-income countries.
The power of vaccines combined with a range of investments to strengthen systems that deliver immunisation and other services to women and children, provide health benefits which accrue to all the MDGs.
MDG 1: end poverty and hunger
Vaccines protect children from death and disability, enabling families to break out of a cycle of poverty and ill health.
- Healthy children free families from the financial burden of medical care, allowing them to spend more on food and education.
- GAVI supports countries with a Gross National Income of less than US $1,500 per person, per year.
MDG 2: achieve universal primary education
Healthy, immunised children are better able to attend school and learn.
- Protecting children from illness and disability enables them to attend school more regularly.
- Vaccination improves their cognitive development, physical strength and educational achievements.
MDG 3: promote gender equality and empower women
Vaccines are an equitable public health intervention.
- Overall, girls and boys have the same access to life-saving vaccines.
- Healthy children free women's time for other activities.
MDG 4: reduce child mortality
Vaccines have helped reduce child deaths by 30% since 1990.
- GAVI and its partners have contributed to the remarkable reduction in child mortality through improving access to immunisation in the world’s poorest countries.
- Vaccines prevent over 2.5 million child deaths each year.
- 79% of children in developing countries are now being reached by national immunisation programmes compared with 66% in 2000.
- Pneumonia and diarrhoea kill three million children each year. GAVI supports the pneumococcal and rotavirus vaccines against these leading child killers.
MDG 5: improve maternal health
Vaccines benefit women's health.
- GAVI-supported maternal neonatal tetanus vaccines help to protect newborns and their mothers against death.
- Human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccines have the potential to dramatically improve women’s health. More than 250,000 women die each year from cervical cancer, 88% in developing countries where it is a leading cancer killer of women. HPV vaccines can avert 70% of cervical cancer cases. GAVI Alliance has prioritised support for HPV vaccines, along with rubella vaccines which help to protect children from life-long disability and mothers from stillbirths and miscarriages.
MDG 6: combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases
Vaccinating HIV-positive adults and children can help to protect them from pneumonia, diarrhoea and other diseases.
- Vaccinating children also benefits the non-vaccinated by reducing disease transmission within the community.
- This is especially important for HIV-positive people who are more vulnerable to pneumonia and other diseases.
MDG 7: ensure environmental sustainability
Pneumonia and diarrhoea are the two biggest killers of children.
- Tackling them requires an integrated approach to pneumonia and diarrhoea control.
- The introduction of new pneumococcal and rotavirus vaccines can re-energise other aspects of pneumonia and diarrhoea control including safe drinking water and sanitation, thereby saving many more lives.
MDG 8: develop a global partnership for development
GAVI is an innovative public-private partnership.
- Brings together key partners in immunisation to distribute new and underused vaccines to the world’s poorest countries.
- Uses innovative financing mechanisms mobilising over US $4 billion in additional funds for health. Leverages long-term donor commitments on private capital markets to frontload funding.
- Shapes markets reducing vaccine prices by pooling demand and attracting new manufacturers, including those from emerging economies, to encourage healthy competition.
- Strengthens health systems reducing bottlenecks in delivering vaccines and improving maternal, newborn and child health services.
- Maximises aid effectiveness channelling funds through national health plans and budgets, thus reducing transaction costs for countries.
- Uses results-based financing supporting countries to increase immunisation coverage.