On Tuesday, we held our monthly Conference Call which was titled: “Vaccination: a public health ‘best buy’”. Our guest on the call was Eloise Todd, the Brussels director for the ONE Campaign. At ONE, Eloise works closely with the European Union and the member states to lobby for increased aid contributions and to ensure aid commitments are honoured across all of ONE’s many campaigning areas. Eloise Todd spoke to us about the fundamental need to increase funding for GAVI (the Global Alliance for Vaccine Immunisation). The GAVI alliance is a global health partnership between public and private sectors, committed to saving children’s lives and protecting people’s health by increasing access to immunisation in developing countries. A recording of the call is now available to download here. If you weren’t able to join us on the call do listen to the recording and take the action.
The areas Eloise spoke about included:
- Highlighting that vaccination is one of the most cost-effective ways to prevent premature deaths
- Emphasising the fundamental role played by GAVI to help immunise children and prevent premature deaths
- Underlining the need to act now to increase funds for GAVI in the light of the 7-year European budget for 2014-2020 currently under discussion
Why do we need increased funds for GAVI?
Vaccination has proven to be one of the most cost-effective ways of preventing premature deaths. Annually, this represents over 2.5 million premature deaths prevented. Between 1960 and 2005 the child mortality rate has halved and has reduced even more since then. Since its inception in 2000, GAVI has provided financing for the poorest countries to purchase and deliver vaccinations. Thanks to GAVI, over 5 million lives have been saved. But in order to be able to save 4.2 million more lives by 2015, GAVI needs an extra $ 4.3 billion on top of the $ 2.7 million it has already secured.
An important funding opportunity has arisen with the current discussion on the 7-year European budget for 2014 -2020. It is now that we need to take action to help increase the money going to GAVI. As our guest speaker underlined: “The key debates are going on right now”. In time of austerity cuts, there is a real threat that the EU budget will follow a similar pattern and now is the time to make the case more than ever for really effective aid.
Beyond providing finance to the poorest countries, GAVI plays a decisive role in creating more favourable conditions to pool the purchasing power of developing countries as one of the major obstacles facing developing countries is the cost of new vaccines. Through its ‘Advanced Market Commitments’ (AMCs), GAVI encourages pharmaceuticals companies to develop and manufacture new vaccines for the developing world at more affordable prices.
If you would like to take action to help support GAVI please read the documents on our monthly action page by clicking here. In addition you can contact our office for further assistance in writing your letters to your MEPs.