Children the world over die every minute from diseases that have long been eradicated in the West, and all because they do not have the basic health care that we so often take for granted. Polio, rickets, measles, TB and malaria are among the largely preventable diseases which threaten large populations of children across the developing world, and the international charity community is working hard to redress the imbalance in medical care across the world.
Supplying vaccines to more than 30% of the world’s children, UNICEF is the largest distributor of vaccines worldwide. The organisation report that 4,000 children die every day from diseases that a simple vaccination would have prevented. They typically vaccinate a child against six such diseases: polio, tetanus, measles, TB, whooping cough and diphtheria. It costs just £12 per child. Approximately four our every five children are now being immunised – more than ever before – but there is still a lot of work to be done, and UNICEF aims to eliminate a number of these childhood diseases in the medium term.
Historically, immunisation has led to the eradication of smallpox, and over the last ten years polio has been nearly eradicated and childhood death from measles has seen a 74 per cent reduction. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation aims to provide vaccinations to vulnerable children by contributing to the goals of the Decade of Vaccines and supporting the innovation necessary to develop new vaccines and approaches to delivering vaccinations in the developing world. It contributes to the work of UNICEF, the WHO and other international organisations.
Indeed, the global vaccination effort is one of the best examples of governments, donors, charities, academics and communities working together. The Decade of Vaccines initiative works as one entity within the greater vaccine community.
Malaria No More is an innovative UK-based charity that is working to end deaths from malaria. It aims to save lives through awareness and fundraising campaigns and investing in Africa, where most of the world’s malaria deaths occur. Malaria is a preventable disease. One child dies from malaria every minute. Malaria No More has engaged governments, businesses, faith groups, other charities, celebrities and the general public in its mission. Since launching in 2009, Malaria No More has persuaded the British government to prioritise malaria in their international development agenda.
UNICEF – http://www.unicef.org.uk/
30a Great Sutton Street
London EC1V 0DU
0844 801 2414
Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation – http://www.gatesfoundation.org/
440 5th Ave N.,
Seattle, WA 98109
(US) 206 709-3100
Malaria No More – http://malarianomore.org.uk
33 Ransomes Dock, 35-37 Parkgate Road, London, SW11 4NP
020 7801 3840
photo credit: PAHO/WHO