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More Funds Are Required For Immunisation Drive

As much as US$ 34 billion are required for immunizing the most deprived children in the world until 2015, according to Lob-Levyt of the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation (GAVI).// One third of this amount is required to be spent on vaccines alone. This will serve to reduce the number of deaths due to diseases like tetanus, polio, and measles. The GAVI meeting was attended by vaccine manufacturers, policymakers, 400 public health experts, and representatives of governments from across the world.

Preventable diseases alone claim the lives of 2.5 million children aged less than 5 years across the world as a result of poor health services in several developing nations. The existing vaccines if properly utilized can prevent these deaths. GAVI has been targeting diseases like bacterial meningitis, yellow fever, and hepatitis B in African and South Asian nations. The usage of these vaccines has risen to 50% from 5%. The vaccine alliance is also working on developing newer vaccines for diseases like malaria and tuberculosis by 2010, and polio is sought to be eradicated across the world by 2008.

The ‘global health bonds’ of GAVI is expected to raise an amount of US$ 4 billion. Individuals from allover the world will be able to contribute towards this cause by making investments in the bonds. Finances are also sought from the international capital markets by the International Finance Facility for Immunisation scheme, thus contributing towards the new development funding initiative. Health systems will also receive support from the fresh inflow of funds.

As many as over 70 million children across the world will get protection from 14 major childhood diseases by the year 2015. As many as 10 million more lives can be saved through maternal and child immunisation at a cost of US$ 1 billion between 2006-2015, according to a study jointly conducted by the UNICEF and the World Health Organization (WHO). The immunisation projects in the poor countries of the world cost US$ 2.5 billion, which should be raised to US$ 3.5 billion by the year 2010, and US$ 4 billion by 2015. The WHO/UNICEF Global Immunisation Vision and Strategy seeks to raise to 90%, the immunisation coverage levels.

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