3.4 million deaths averted through GAVI-funded immunization programs

October 29, 2008

3.4 million deaths will be averted in the world's poorest countries through immunisation funded by the GAVI Alliance between 2000 and 2008, according to new data released by the World Health Organization (WHO).

WHO monitors the projected impact of GAVI programmes in 76 developing countries. The new projections show an increase of 600,000 deaths averted compared to the period 2000-2007. The data will be presented to the GAVI Alliance Board on Wednesday in Geneva.

"Our front-loaded effort at scaling up immunisation programmes works well, preventing millions of premature deaths and much debilitating illness, as well as ensuring immunisation's place as a global health priority as we drive towards the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)," said Dr Julian Lob-Levyt, Executive Secretary of the GAVI Alliance.

WHO also projects that, by the end of 2008, a cumulative 213 million children will have been reached with GAVI-supported vaccines.

The cumulative number of children benefitting from three doses of Hib vaccine (Haemophilus influenzae type B) is projected to rise to 41.7 million by the end of 2008, up from an estimated 28.2 million just 12 months earlier. The Hib bacterium can cause severe infections such as meningitis and pneumonia.

DTP3 coverage and yellow fever vaccine are also showing continued increases. DTP3 (three doses of diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis) is the accepted indicator of basic immunisation coverage in developing countries.

Hepatitis B vaccine – GAVI's single biggest success story in terms of future deaths averted – is projected to have reached a cumulative 192.2 million children by end 2008, up from an estimated 155.7 million at the end of 2007.

"As financial markets tumble, these numbers show the positive results of investment in human lives," Julian Lob-Levyt said. "Donors and donor governments can take this as encouragement to continue funding health interventions driven by the developing countries themselves. Only through long term predictable funding can we guarantee that poor countries are able to improve their immunisation programmes in order to saves lives."

Of the 9.2 million children who die before reaching their fifth birthday every year, close to one quarter die from diseases that could be prevented with currently available or new vaccines.

On Thursday, the GAVI Alliance Board will discuss a New Vaccine Investment Strategy that will offer poor countries more vaccines to alleviate their disease burden. This will have direct implications for GAVI's funding needs.

Source: Gavi Alliance

Explore further: Vaccine against world's top child killer launched

Related Stories

Vaccine against world's top child killer launched

February 14, 2011

A vaccine against pneumonia, the leading cause of child deaths around the world, was rolled out in Kenya Monday and is expected to save hundreds of thousands of lives in coming years.

Rotavirus vaccine cuts hospital visits for kids: study

January 20, 2011

Rotavirus vaccines have helped drastically reduce hospital visits around the world, said a study out Thursday that urged more countries to administer the potentially life-saving shots to children.

Rotavirus vaccine trials successful in Asia and Africa

August 5, 2010

Studies in Asia and Africa have shown that a rotavirus vaccine is safe and effective in preventing severe rotavirus gastroenteritis (severe RVG), which is responsible for more than half a million child deaths worldwide. The ...

Small investment could save 11 million African lives

July 26, 2010

In the next five years, 11 million African women and children could be saved by creating near-universal availability of key life-saving interventions, according to The Partnership for Maternal, Newborn & Child Health and ...

Recommended for you

Machine Translates Thoughts into Speech in Real Time

December 21, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- By implanting an electrode into the brain of a person with locked-in syndrome, scientists have demonstrated how to wirelessly transmit neural signals to a speech synthesizer. The "thought-to-speech" process ...

Quantum Theory May Explain Wishful Thinking

April 14, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- Humans don’t always make the most rational decisions. As studies have shown, even when logic and reasoning point in one direction, sometimes we chose the opposite route, motivated by personal bias or simply ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.