GAVI Alliance said on Thursday that Ethiopian President Mulatu Teshome will take a leading role in supporting the organization's mission by increasing access to immunizations in order save children and protect the public's health.
"I am proud to offer my support to the GAVI Alliance in its important mission," Mulatu said. "By investing in immunization, we are protecting the futures of our children across Ethiopia, enabling them to grow up healthy and giving them the chance to become productive adults."
The announcement was made during Africa Vaccination Week.
"We are delighted that President Mulatu has agreed to champion the importance of protecting children against disease through immunization," GAVI Alliance Deputy CEO Helen Evans said. "Children across Ethiopia are benefiting from GAVI-supported vaccines today and this Presidential support underlines the importance of our mission."
The government of Ethiopia and the GAVI Alliance have partnered to strengthen and build the country's health systems and immunization coverage. The country has received a commitment of $720 million from the GAVI Alliance for vaccination programs and is the organization's second largest investment.
The GAVI Alliance has assisted with saving approximately six million lives by supporting immunizations for 440 million children since 2000. Donors have committed $7.4 billion in support of the organization for 2011-2015.