France and GAVI Alliance assess progress and future developments in global health

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[French]

Dagfinn Høybråten, Chair of the GAVI Board, thanks France for their support to GAVI

Dagfinn in France

French Minister for Cooperation H. de Raincourt, and GAVI Board Chair Dagfinn Høybråten. Photo credit: CabCoop presse/2012

Mr. Henri de Raincourt, Minister for Cooperation and Mr. Dagfinn Høybråten, Chair of the GAVI Board, have provided today an update on the progress made in terms of access to immunisation, and the key role France has to play in improving the health of people in developing countries.

Mr. de Raincourt and Mr. Høybråten held discussions today during a visit of the Chair of the GAVI Board in Paris. Mr. Høybråten also met the Members of the Parliament and the NGOs in France.

France's support to GAVI


 At the occasion of this meeting, Mr. Høybråten, Norwegian parliamentarian and former Minister of Health of Norway, thanked France for its support to GAVI, recently extended to the tune of € 100 million until 2015. The total commitment of France to GAVI is over € 1.3 billion for the period 2004-2026, including through innovative funding solutions (IFFIm and solidarity tax on airline tickets).

Illustrating the ability of vaccines to save lives and protect health, the Minister Henri de Raincourt said that the GAVI mission was aligned to the strategic objectives of France, which considers maternal and child health as priorities for French development aid.

"We are particularly grateful to France for the importance it gives to the health of children. Its support is essential in our efforts to protect over 250 million children by 2015," said Dagfinn Høybråten, Chair of the GAVI Board.

A child dies from a preventable disease every 20 seconds, and the vast majority of these deaths occur in developing countries. This death toll is morally inacceptable in the 21st century.

Dagfinn Høybråten, Chair of the GAVI Alliance Board

Pneumococcal and rotavirus vaccines

Thanks to the unprecedented mobilisation of the international community to fight against the two major causes of child mortality - pneumonia and diarrheoa - more than 15 countries are already protecting their children against the main causes of at least one of these two deadly diseases.

Indeed, the pneumococcal and rotavirus vaccines, which protect against the major causes of pneumonia and diarrheoa respectively (together account for 36% of child mortality), were deployed in an accelerated manner over the last 12 months, and about 20 additional countries have planned to introduce one or the other of these vaccines in 2012.

Effective and efficient way to improve health

"France is extremely keen that all children, whether they are born in Africa or elsewhere, get proper health care. Thanks to vaccines, we can prevent millions of deaths and disability caused by diseases which are still too common", said Mr. Henri de Raincourt.

Mr. Høybråten reiterated how immunisation is an effective and efficient way to improve health. GAVI has helped prevent more than five and a half million deaths since the year 2000, but Mr. Høybråten reminded how urgent it is to capitalise on these achievements.

“A child dies from a preventable disease every 20 seconds, and the vast majority of these deaths occur in developing countries. This death toll is morally inacceptable in the 21st century. We must work together to ensure that children in the poorest countries have the same access to vaccines as children in richer nations”. 

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