Immunization in developing countries
Vaccines are one of the most effective public health interventions available, estimated to save between two and three million lives each year.
Immunization is an evidence-based tool to prevent illness, disability and death from vaccine-preventable diseases, including:
- hepatitis B
- pertussis (whooping cough)
- rotavirus diarrhea
Cost effective health outcomes
In the Copenhagen Consensus, leading economists ranked childhood immunization as one of the most cost-effective interventions to advance child heath. A 2016 Johns Hopkins University study found that vaccines could save governments $44 dollars for every dollar spent on vaccine - an excellent return on investment. Despite the progress achieved in recent decades, nearly 19 million children remain unimmunized every year. That is almost 20% of children born each year.
What is Canada doing to help?
Canada contributes to global efforts to reduce child mortality rates by working with trusted partners such as Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance.
Canada’s support for Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, has helped Gavi immunize more than half a billion children to date.
We have also provided more than $600 million to the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI). This has helped ensure that polio surveillance systems are able to rapidly detect any new cases that emerge, that every last child is reached with the polio vaccine, and that health workers have the capacity to respond to and control any outbreaks as soon as they arise, ultimately with the goal of achieving global eradication by 2019.
The GPEI is a partnership among the World Health Organization, UNICEF, Rotary International, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Preventing deadly tetanus infections
Canada is matching the contributions of UNICEF Canada and the Kiwanis Foundation of Canada to support maternal and neonatal tetanus elimination. This initiative is focused on helping 3.4 million women of reproductive age receive three doses of tetanus toxoid vaccine. These doses will help prevent deadly tetanus infections in women and their future children.
Immunization is important to reduce child mortality rates and improve health, both of which are central to sustainable development.
- Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance
- Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI)
- 2016 John Hopkins study Return On Investment From Childhood Immunization In Low- And Middle-Income Countries, 2011–20
- World Health Organization
- Rotary International
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
- Clinton Health Access Initiative
- UNICEF Canada
- Kiwanis Foundation of Canada
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