WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 28, 2016

Lions Club International partners with GAVI Alliance on measles-rubella vaccine campaign

Lions Clubs International announced last week at an event on Capitol Hill that it would support the GAVI Alliance through a $30 million donation for its measles-rubella immunization program to support children in need worldwide.

Lions Clubs made an initial investment of $7.5 million and is raising funds for the GAVI Alliance through its 1.35 million members. When it reaches $30 million, the contribution will be matched by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the United Kingdom Government under the GAVI Matching Fund, making the total contribution to GAVI $60 million collectively.

"The partnership between Lions Clubs and the GAVI Alliance is protecting millions of children in the world's poorest countries against measles and rubella," Wayne Madden, chairperson of Lions Clubs International Foundation, said. "We're increasing access to immunization, strengthening communities and saving lives in the process."

The GAVI Alliance's measles-rubella vaccination program plans to introduce the measles-rubella vaccine to five countries this year and expects to have introduced the vaccine to 49 countries by 2020. The Alliance is expected to introduce approximately 60 vaccine treatments worldwide this year alone and has already introduced approximately 150 vaccine treatments from 2000 to 2012.

Lions Clubs plans to work with its partners to increase awareness about the measles-rubella vaccine and gain support from volunteers at vaccination centers to ensure children are getting vaccinated.

"Vaccines can't save lives if children don't receive them, so Lions work with the community to make sure children are being vaccinated," Lions Clubs International Foundation Steering Committee member from Ethiopia Dr. Tebebe Yemane-Berhan. "We look forward to a future where every child has access to life-saving vaccines."