FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 30, 2016

UNICEF: Lenny Kravitz films PSA to end preventable child deaths

UNICEF and Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Lenny Kravitz recently joined together to record a public service announcement urging people to contribute to the end of preventable child deaths.

UNICEF announced the collaboration with Kravitz on Monday. Kravitz previously lent his support to UNICEF in an effort to provide access to clean water and sanitation to millions of children. Kravitz will use his social media platforms to share UNICEF's plea for 100 percent immunization.

"I'm a parent, and the thought of anyone's child dying of something we can prevent is just unacceptable to me," Kravitz said. "Vaccines cost so little, and when UNICEF says 100 percent of the world's children can be immunized with enough funding, I think it's important to support that goal."

Approximately 6.9 million annual worldwide childhood deaths are the result of preventable causes, as many as 1.5 million of which are from vaccine-preventable diseases. While immunization is one of the most cost-effective and successful means of saving children's lives, approximately 20 percent of the world's children are not immunized.

"UNICEF helps immunize more than one third of the world's children," Caryl Stern, the president and CEO of the U.S. Fund for UNICEF, said. "And because UNICEF buys vaccines in bulk, it's the organization that makes every dollar that's donated go further, and spends every dollar where it can do the most good. That's what really matters if we are determined to reach a day where zero children die of causes we know how to prevent."

Children living in impoverished communities and remote areas are less likely to be immunized against deadly diseases, leaving them unprotected against disability and death. Some of the deadly diseases include measles, whooping cough, tetanus, diphtheria and polio.