GAVI CEO recognizes link between vaccination rates and economic growth

Seth Berkley

Dr. Seth Berkley, the CEO of the GAVI Alliance, recently wrote an editorial explaining how vaccines can be an engine for economic growth in the developing world.

Berkley said the editorial, which appears on CNN’s Inside Africa website, was inspired by a conference GAVI is currently hosting in Tanzania. He said Tanzania, as an emerging economy, requires a healthy population in order to sustain its economic ambitions, according to CNN.

“The private sector is a critical part of the equation. Our corporate partners know they can do well by doing good,” Berkley wrote, CNN reports. “Consider Tanzania. It has an ambitious five-year development plan that aims to transform the country into a middle-income economy by 2025. The plan includes critical funding to ensure a healthy population by strengthening the health system, which will significantly improve child and maternal mortality rates.”

GAVI and its partners have helped to significantly increase vaccination rates in Tanzania, from 79 percent in 2001 to above 90 percent in 2012, according to the World Health Organization. Tanzania’s GDP growth has risen to $23.7 billion in 2011 from $10.2 billion, according to the World Bank.

“GAVI is constantly looking for partners to lend their business savvy to help us accomplish our mission. An increasing number of them are responding, compassionate in their outlook while aware of the underlying economic value of vaccines,” Berkley said, CNN reports.

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