Receives First Delivery of GAVI/Global Fund Vaccines
Senior Helps Deliver Life-saving Vaccines to Mozambique
Maputo, Mozambique 6 April In a major step
towards saving the lives of millions of children around the world, the
Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization and the Vaccine Fund began
the first round of a global schedule of vaccine delivery to Mozambique,
the first to reach the African continent.
Bill Gates Sr., Co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, joined
Carol Bellamy, Executive Director of the United Nations Childrens Fund
(UNICEF) and President Joaquim Chissano of Mozambique at Boane District
Health Clinic, 45 kms from the capital city Maputo, to see infants being
immunized with DTP-hepB vaccines against diphtheria, tetanus, whooping
cough and hepatitis B.
Following the official presentation of the new vaccines by Gates Sr.
and Bellamy, President Chissano announced that Boane District would
pilot immunization with the combination DTP-hepB vaccines until a
nation-wide campaign begins in July. The pilot will set in motion a host
of activities to revitalize the countrys immunization programme
including: training healthworkers about the new combination vaccine and
correct use of safety devices, and how to communicate to a variety of
audiences the importance of all infants receiving a full schedule of
The Mozambican Government received the first half of 1.3 million doses
of DTP-hepB vaccines worth an estimated $1.5 million. An additional
contribution of $462,000 to strengthen immunization services was also
After a year of hard work, it is gratifying to see our actions
begin to bear fruit as vaccines are delivered to countries and most
importantly to children, said Gates, Sr. Now we have to quickly expand
to all areas of the world, so we can help save the lives of two million
children every year with vaccines against preventable diseases.
launch at Davos in January 2000, one of the major achievements of GAVI
and the Vaccine Fund is a new vaccine procurement system. By
guaranteeing long-term purchasing commitments, it enables manufacturers
to produce vaccines at affordable prices. These vaccines were previously
only available for children in industrialized countries. In this way, a
viable market has been created combining new and old antigens,such as
hepatitis B combined with DTP. Plans are currently underway to ship
vaccines to 15 more countries such as Kyrgyzstan and Laos including
eight other countries within Africa throughout 2001. A total of 74 of
the worlds poorest countries are expected to receive support from GAVI
and The Vaccine Fund.
children die globally every year because they lack access to
immunization. Measles virtually unseen in rich countries today kills
nearly one million children annually. Complications caused by hepatitis
B infection claim another million adult lives per year due to lack of
childhood immunization against the disease. Studies in Mozambique show
that approximately 20 per cent of the adult population are chronically
infected with hepatitis. The newly awarded contribution will help the
country increase its effort to fight the disease.
is one of 25 countries to secure support from GAVI and the Vaccine Fund
after a first review of country proposals. Government and health
officials are committed to using the contribution to increase access to
immunization countrywide. The arrival of the new vaccines together with
financial support for immunization services is key to creating a
sustainable service throughout the country.
Vaccine Fund is delighted to be able to fund these life-saving vaccines
for the children of Mozambique, and is happy to become a partner with
this country in our shared effort to reduce vaccine preventable deaths."
said Jacques-François Martin, President of The Vaccine Fund .
to the vaccines themselves, auto-disable syringes and safety boxes are
also being provided. The auto-disable syringe includes a safety device
that prevents its reuse. WHO, UNICEF, UNFPA and the Federation of Red
Cross and Red Crescent Assocations have adopted a global policy on
injection safety calling for the use of auto-disable syringes for all
immunization by the end of 2003. In 2000, a significant number of the 10
to 15,000 new cases of hepatitis B in Mozambique resulted from unsafe
injections world-wide there are between eight to 16 million new cases
each year. From July 2001 onwards, Mozambique plans to fully integrate
auto-disable syringes for all immunizations.
safety is just as important as the vaccines themselves, said
UNICEF Executive Director Carol Bellamy. Poor vaccination practices
can lead to the spread of disease, rather than its prevention.
Supporting countries to improve injection practices is part and parcel
of GAVIs mission.
has one of the highest rates of child mortality in the world with 146
out of 1000 children dying before their first birthday. Some 12.5
percent of Mozambican babies are born with low birth weight due to
maternal malnutrition and 36 percent of all children under three years
of age are stunted because of chronic malnutrition. Immunization rates
are improving but still low with only 73 per cent of children completing
their vaccination schedule. The state of emergency caused by the floods
in 2000 and 2001 has worsened the situation in the central and southern
provinces, and increased the vulnerability of women and children to
malnutrition and disease.
Fund for Childrens Vaccines, a new financing resource that was created
in 1999, provides financial support directly to low-income countries to
strengthen their immunization services and to purchase new and
Fund received an initial $750 million grant from the Bill & Melinda
Gates Foundation and has since received support from governments and
other donors. In the future, Global Fund resources may also be used to
accelerate the development of vaccines for diseases responsible for
significant mortality in developing countries, such as HIV/AIDS,
tuberculosis, malaria, and acute respiratory diseases. While the Vaccine
Fund has its own Board and management for fiduciary and fundraising
responsibilities, decisions about programs to receive support will be
made on the recommendation of GAVI.
Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI) is a coalition of
organizations formed in 1999 in response to stagnating global
immunization rates and widening disparities in vaccine access among
industrialized and developing countries. The GAVI partners include:
national governments, the Gates Childrens Vaccine Program at PATH, the
International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Associations
(IFPMA), research and public health institutions, the Bill & Melinda
Gates Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, UNICEF, the World Bank
Group and the World Health Organization (WHO).
6 April: Statement from Mr James
Wolfensohn, President, The World Bank
6 April: Statement from Dr Gro Harlem
Brundtland, Director General, World Health Organization
information, please contact:
Palais des Nations,
1211 Geneva 10
Mozambique Photo Report
More about GAVI
The Vaccine Fund