13 Developing Countries To Be Recognized for GAVI Contributions
Thirteen developing countries will be recognized at an award ceremony this week at the World Health Assembly in Geneva for their contributions to the GAVI Alliance to help purchase life-saving vaccines, Ghanaian Chroncile/allAfrica.com reports (Odoi-Larbi, Ghanaian Chroncile/allAfrica.com, 5/20). The countries are: Benin, Bolivia, Burundi, Cameroon, Ghana, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Rwanda, Solomon Islands, Tanzania, Yemen and Zambia (GNA/Ghana Home Page, 5/20).
According to a GAVI statement, "Twenty-seven countries now help finance the purchase of vaccines against common but life-threatening diseases, such as rotavirus, Hepatitis B, Haemophilus influenzae type b, tetanus and pertussis four times as many countries than in 2007. In total, these co-payments amounted to more than $17 million in 2008, or 15% of the respective cost to GAVI" (GAVI Alliance release, 5/19).
"We are pleased and proud to recognize these countries for their extraordinary commitment to immunization," Julian Lob-Levyt, GAVI's chief executive officer, said. "They have demonstrated an impressive level of ownership which shows that GAVI's unique co-financing scheme is proving to be a successful model for development aid. Already a third of all GAVI's recipient countries co-finance now and we expect this number to continue to increase," he added.
The Ghanaian Chroncile/allAfrica.com reports that Zambia, which received a similar award in 2007, is expected to be recognized again this year for its significant and ongoing contributions. "Our government is very committed to child survival and particularly wants to ensure that the immunization programme is properly funded, maintained and sustained," Victor Mukonka, director of public health and research at the Ministry of Health in Lusaka, Zambia, said.
"These days we can pay for over 25% of the costs of the vaccines we receive. We are hoping to eventually fully fund the immunization of our children. We have worked extremely hard to convince the cabinet to invest in children and to prevent diseases rather than wait until the children are sick. In Zambia, everybody values vaccination as a cost-effective intervention," Mukonka said (Ghanaian Chroncile/allAfrica.com, 5/20).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.