We now have vaccines to prevent nearly 30 diseases. The GAVI Alliance — a public-private partnership focused on increasing access to vaccines in poor countries — has contributed to the immunization of more than 370 million children since 2000.
The World Health Organization estimates immunization programs prevent 2 million to 3 million deaths every year.
WHO also estimates we have an opportunity to reach an additional 22 million infants who live in hard-to-reach or insecure communities across the developing world. Reaching these populations is the key to achieving humanitarian milestones agreed to by the global community — chiefly, Millennium Development Goal 4, which calls for a significant reduction in child mortality by 2015.
We owe it to ourselves to seize this opportunity for a healthier and disease-free world. More importantly, we owe it to our children.
[Excerpt of article by Siddharth Chatterjee, Chief Diplomat at the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies]