SATURDAY, OCTOBER 1, 2016

GAVI Alliance praises priority given to immunization in U.N. report

The GAVI Alliance welcomed the priority given to vaccines and health in the U.N. High Level Panel of Eminent Persons on the Post-2015 Development Agenda, the agency's CEO said last week.

Seth Berkley said he believed that all people should have more access to immunization and he was encouraged by the U.N. panel's decision to highlight the value of vaccines in the report.

"I am very encouraged to see that the High Level Panel has underlined the value of vaccines and called for a target to increase the number of people fully vaccinated," Berkley said. "I firmly believe that all people should have access to immunization no matter where in the world they live. The GAVI Alliance is working with the world's poorest countries to help them to introduce vaccines against major killer diseases such as pneumonia, diarrhea and cervical cancer."

Berkley also praised the panel's inclusion of a partnership approach to battle healthcare development matters.

"The Millennium Development Goals have catalyzed extraordinary progress - and financial support - in many areas of global health," Berkley said. "But much remains to be done: for example, 22 million children go unimmunized each year. I am pleased to note that the panel references the importance of a partnership approach in tackling development issues."

The report recommended investing more in health, particularly in disease prevention strategies like vaccination. It also suggested expanded childhood immunization programs and increasing the proportion of children, adolescents, at-risk adults and older people that are fully vaccinated.