Ireland supporting immunisation for children in developing countries

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€1 million donation to GAVI Alliance to fight major childhood diseases

Geneva/Dublin, 11 January 2010 - Ireland has reaffirmed its commitment to children in the developing world by announcing a further €1 million in funding to the GAVI Alliance to immunize vulnerable children.

The funding will support GAVI's efforts to increase and sustain vaccination rates in the world's poorest countries against major diseases such as diphtheria, whooping cough, tetanus, Haemophilus influenzae type B, hepatitis B and yellow fever.

Effective and strategic programme

Children in developing countries are 10 times more likely to die from a vaccine-preventable disease than they are in wealthier nations.

Peter Powerf, Ireland's Minister for Overseas Development

"Children in developing countries are 10 times more likely to die from a vaccine-preventable disease than they are in wealthier nations," Ireland's Minister for Overseas Development, Peter Power, said.

"In 2008 alone, almost nine million children died before their fifth birthday, nearly a quarter of whom succumbed to vaccine-preventable illnesses. GAVI's effective and strategic programme of support to the world's poorest countries is playing a key role in stemming these unconscionable losses."

Promoting and protecting health

Minister Power explained that health is one of the key sectors supported by Irish Aid. "Promoting and protecting the health of a nation, especially its children, are crucial factors in the fight against poverty," he added.

GAVI's CEO Julian Lob-Levyt thanked the Irish government for their support.

"GAVI is a committed partner to achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015, both through the potential of vaccines to deliver significant impact on Goal 4 - to reduce child mortality - and the long-term health benefits of immunisation that will accrue to all MDGs," he said.

Highest rate of coverage

Ireland has supported GAVI-funded immunisation programmes with € 26 million so far.

By the end of 2009, DTP3 coverage (full immunisation against diphtheria, pertussis and tetanus) in countries where GAVI works reached 79%, the highest rate of coverage ever experienced in the developing world.

For more information please contact
Dan Thomas

Dan Thomas
GAVI Alliance
+41 79 251 8581
+41 22 909 6524

Photo and video requests

Ilse Viveros Sotomayor
GAVI Alliance

+41 22 909 7193

168 million

GAVI-supported vaccine campaigns have resulted in 100 million individuals being immunised against meningitis A and 68 million against yellow fever since 2000.

Meningitis A Conjugate Vaccine Immunizaton Campaign. Joint WHO/UNICEF 2011 Progress Report: January to December 2012. March 2013, p.3 | 2011 data. Yellow Fever Initiative. Joint WHO and UNICEF 2011 Progress Report Nov 2012, p.13, 15. 2012 data: Based on data from Epidemiology of Yellow Fever in the African Region: 2012 report. WHO Regional Office for Africa. April 2013, p.6.

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