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Global Campaign “Humanly Possible” Boosts Lifesaving Vaccines

A joint global communication campaign named “Humanly Possible” has been launched to enhance vaccination programs worldwide. This initiative, backed by the UN World Health Organization (WHO) and the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), aims to amplify efforts in immunization.

Impact of Vaccination Programs

UNICEF Executive Director Catherine Russell emphasized the profound impact of vaccination programs, noting that more children now reach their fifth birthday than ever before, thanks to vaccines. The success of global immunization programs highlights what is achievable when various stakeholders collaborate, including world leaders, health agencies, scientists, charities, businesses, and communities.

Milestones in Disease Prevention

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus hailed vaccines as one of history’s most powerful inventions, transforming once-feared diseases into preventable ones. Notably, diseases like smallpox have been eradicated, and polio is on the brink of elimination. Recent developments in vaccines against diseases such as malaria and cervical cancer signify significant progress in disease prevention.

Lives Saved and Health Gained

A forthcoming study in The Lancet underscores the monumental impact of global immunization efforts, revealing that an estimated 154 million lives have been saved over the past five decades, with 101 million of them being infants. The study, led by WHO, highlights immunization as the single greatest contributor to ensuring infant survival and long-term health.

Role of Gavi Alliance

The formation of the Gavi alliance in 2000, with core founding members including WHO, UNICEF, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, has significantly expanded the reach of immunization programs. Gavi has facilitated the protection of an entire generation of children, providing vaccines against 20 infectious diseases and halving childhood mortality rates in the world’s poorest countries.

Ensuring Last-Mile Delivery

UNICEF, a major procurer of vaccines globally, plays a pivotal role in ensuring the last-mile delivery of immunization services. Procuring over two billion doses annually, UNICEF reaches nearly half of the world’s children, even in remote and underserved communities. Innovative methods, such as using camels for distribution, are employed to guarantee equitable access to vaccines.

As World Immunization Week approaches, the focus remains on ensuring universal access to lifesaving vaccines. UNICEF Executive Director Catherine Russell emphasized the importance of maintaining momentum and ensuring that every child, regardless of location, has access to immunization services. The ultimate goal is to protect more people and communities from vaccine-preventable diseases, continuing the trajectory of global health progress.

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