Lakeside exhibition highlights the power of immunisation to save children’s lives

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Geneva-based global health alliance marks September's UN Summit on Millennium Development Goals

Geneva, 31 August 2010 - To mark a major United Nations summit on child health and poverty reduction, the GAVI Alliance is staging an exhibition beside the lake in Geneva about the power of immunisation to save and protect children's lives.

Since its launch in 2000, the GAVI Alliance has funded and facilitated the immunisation of 257 million children in the world's poorest countries and saved 5.4 million lives, according to the World Health Organization.

Consisting of 50 brightly-coloured panels with photographs from around the world and informative texts in French and English, the exhibition entitled "What is immunisation?" explains the extraordinary impact of vaccination to prevent disease in the world's poorest countries.

It also explores the challenges of reaching children in the most remote locations with vaccines  that have to be kept cold and shows how the Geneva-based public-private partnership has worked with its many allies, donors and governments to save more than five million lives.

Global partnership

This exhibition in the city where our Secretariat is based is an opportunity for GAVI to demonstrate how the world is working together in partnership to improve the health of millions of people in developing countries.

Julian Lobt-Levyt, CEO, GAVI 

The GAVI Alliance includes international organisations such as UNICEF, the World Bank and the World Health Organization, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, pharmaceutical companies, and civil society.

Immunising children is widely recognised as one of the most cost-effective ways of improving health. Preventing disease helps set children up for healthy and productive lives, stops unnecessary spending on medicines and treatment and contributes to economic development.

"This exhibition in the city where our Secretariat is based is an opportunity for GAVI to demonstrate how the world is working together in partnership to improve the health of millions of people in developing countries" said GAVI Alliance CEO Julian Lobt-Levyt.

"We thank the city of Geneva for making the exhibition space available and hope visitors to the lakeside exhibition will take away an understanding of the value and impact of immunisation, and how it can support people to live healthier and more productive lives," he added.  

Key development progress review

The United Nations is due to meet in New York from 20-22 September to review progress on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), a series of eight poverty reduction targets set in 2000. MDG 4, aims to reduce by two-thirds, the number of deaths of children under five years old by 2015.

GAVI is looking to raise US$ 4.3 billion over the next five years for immunisation programmes which will include new vaccines to help prevent pneumonia and diarrhoea, the two biggest killers of children. These two diseases together account for nearly one third of all deaths of children under five years old around the world.

In June 2009, GAVI became an independent international institution headquartered in Geneva, the first organisation to receive such recognition under the Swiss Host State Act.

The "What is immunisation?" exhibition runs from 30 August to 29 September, 2010 on Geneva's Quai Wilson. It was designed by Stefan Wassmer Graphic Design in Nyon, produced by Sandra Scolari and Jane McElligott at the GAVI Alliance Secretariat and printed by Rutschi Geneve SA.

30%

Pneumonia and diarrhoea account for nearly one third-of child deaths in low-income countries.

WHO/UNICEF 2012

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