The GAVI Alliance Board Have Approved a Framework That Will Support The Immunisation of an Additional 300 Million Children in Developing Countries

Record numbers of children protected against leading causes of pneumonia with Gavi support

“la Caixa” Foundation announces further €1m commitment to support pneumococcal vaccine

November 12, 2014

More children than ever before are being protected against the leading causes of pneumonia as countries strengthen their immunisation programmes with support from Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance.

In 2013 alone, almost 40 million children in developing countries received the pentavalent vaccine, which includes protection against Haemophilus Influenzae type b (Hib) pneumonia, while 15 million children were immunised with pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV).

These latest figures, released by Gavi on the 6th World Pneumonia Day, bring the total number of children protected against Hib through Gavi-supported pentavalent vaccines since 2000 to almost 200 million. A total of more than 25 million children have received PCV since the first Gavi-supported introduction in 2010.

“Prevention is almost always better than treatment and vaccines are at the forefront of the fight to protect children against pneumonia,” said Gavi CEO Dr Seth Berkley. “Although record numbers of children are receiving vaccines that protect them from the leading causes of pneumonia there is still more to be done. We are committed to further expanding access to vaccines as part of an integrated approach to pneumonia prevention and control.”

Pneumonia claims the lives of more than a million children under the age of five every year, mostly in developing countries, making it the leading killer of children. Gavi has already supported the world’s 73 poorest countries to introduce the pentavalent vaccine as well as funding almost 45 countries to begin using PCV.

“la Caixa” renews commitment to Gavi

To support Gavi’s work on increasing access to pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV), which protects against pneumococcal pneumonia, the “la Caixa” Foundation today announced that it will contribute €1 million towards purchasing the vaccine for children in Mozambique, Senegal and Tanzania. This commitment will be matched by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation through the GAVI Matching Fund.

“We are grateful to “la Caixa” Foundation for its strong, long-standing commitment to children’s health,” said Dr Berkley. ““la Caixa” Foundation is one of Gavi’s significant private sector partners and this donation brings the total amount given by the Spanish bank, its employees and business partners to over US$ 24 million.”

Integrated approach to pneumonia control

World Pneumonia Day is an opportunity for a coalition of partners committed to reducing the number lives lost to pneumonia to raise awareness of the key interventions and the barriers that prevent people from accessing them.

Evidence shows that children die from pneumonia because of a lack of access to existing effective interventions. Vaccination, proper nutrition, hand-washing with soap, low-emission cookstoves and exclusive breastfeeding for newborns, can help protect children and prevent pneumonia. Recognising that an integrated approach is key to reducing deaths from pneumonia, Gavi is working with partners to implement the Integrated Global Action Plan for the Prevention and Control of Pneumonia and Diarrhoea (GAPPD).

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