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News items related to the GAVI Alliance and immunization are featured here. If you know of an item that may be of interest, and would like to have it featured here or on our homepage, please contact

Former WHO Director General donates award to further GAVI work in Bhutan
Citing her knowledge of GAVI's "valuable vision and work", Dr Gro Harlem Brundtland - WHO DG until July 2003 - has donated NOK 50 000 from a recently won award to be used in immunization programs in Bhutan. The "Fredrikkeprisen", which she won in 2004, is awarded by Norske Kvinners Sanitetsforening, a Norwegian women's organization.
Award announcement (Norwegian)

South Asia slashes polio cases by nearly half
Polio cases in Afghanistan, India and Pakistan - three countries in Asia where endemic polio persists - were slashed by 45% last year. Health Ministers representing these countries are committed to maintaining their momentum in the coming year, presenting an ambitious plan of immunization campaigns to wipe out the disease in the affected districts that remain.
WHO Press release | The Global Polio Eradication Initiative

UNICEF welcomes appointment of next Executive Director
UNICEF today congratulated Ann M. Veneman, outgoing Secretary of Agriculture in the U.S. administration, on her appointment as Carol Bellamy's successor by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan.
Read more

African health leaders vow to meet polio eradication goal
Meeting at WHO, Health Ministers from eight key countries affected by the recent increase in polio infections have established the 2005 eradication strategy for Africa. Massive immunization campaigns in 25 countries are planned to combat the deadly disease, which has stricken 1037 African children in the last year.
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GSK Launches Rotavirus Vaccine in Mexico
As part of a novel strategy to deliver vaccines first to those with the greatest medical need, the Rotarix(TM) launch is a concrete step towards providing a safe and effective vaccine to prevent rotavirus globally. The virus is the leading cause of severe diarrhea and vomiting in children under 3, resulting in approximately one death per minute, and 95% of children, regardless of race or economic status, will experience an episode of rotavirus disease by the time they reach 3-5 years of age. Over the course of 2005, the vaccine will be launched in other Latin American countries and Asia.
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UNICEF supports immunization campaign in Tamil Nadu and Kerala
UNICEF is supporting the Governments of Tamil Nadu and Kerala to launch a week-long measles and Vitamin A immunization campaign targeting 115,000 children affected by the tsunami disaster. “Measles is a deadly threat to children living in crowded camps,” said Dr. Marzio Babille, UNICEF’s Chief of Health in India. “But we can head it off with a good round of immunization and Vitamin A.”
UNICEF news note | Donate

GAVI Team Meets with Pakistan's President and Prime Minister
The delegation, led by Jens Stoltenberg, met with President General Pervez Musharraf and Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz on Monday. The president thanked the delegation for GAVI's support to Pakistan, used by the government to carry out extensive immunization activities, and praised the GAVI effort to ensure that all children have access to life-saving vaccines.
Daily Times | paknews | Jens Stoltenberg on immunization

A new model for child survival in Africa
WHO and UNICEF have launched a landmark campaign in Togo to reach one million children under-five with vaccines to prevent measles and polio, mosquito nets to prevent malaria and deworming tablets. This integrated campaign, which runs until December 19th, aims to reach children throughout the country, many of whom live in rural areas - some completely inaccessible by road.
WHO website | Press Release

UNICEF launches State of the World's Children 2005
"Poverty doesn’t persist because of nothing; war doesn’t emerge from nowhere; HIV doesn’t spread by choice of its own. These are our choices (...) Although they may seem intractable, poverty, conflict and AIDS can be curtailed, they can be slowed, they can be bent to our will. Once we decide in favor of protecting childhood, we can accomplish nearly anything." - Carol Bellamy
Website | Press Release

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