15 November 2012
Guest Contributor

Australian Parliamentarians join GAVI visit to Myanmar

Last week, the GAVI Alliance coordinated an in-country visit to its programs in Myanmar. Accompanied by a delegation of Australian and New Zealand Parliamentarians, GAVI Chair, Dagfinn Høybråten, and Deputy CEO, Helen Evans, visited a number of GAVI supported clinics and community programs, and met with government officials.

The visit highlighted moreover the groundbreaking work made possible by the commendable contributions of  the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and AusAID in the Asia-Pacific Region.

Australia joined as a supporter of GAVI in 2006 by providing contributions to 2010, subsequently it has committed to a new $200 million pledge from 2011–2013. Since 2000, AusAID and GAVI have contributed to:

  • the immunisation of more than 325 million children against a variety of preventable diseases in the world’s poorest countries
  • the prevention of 5.5 million deaths through immunisation against preventable diseases
  • the development and roll out of new vaccines that protect against pneumonia and diarrhoea—the two leading killers of children under the age of five
  • an increase in vaccine coverage to 82 per cent in developing countries, with a particular focus on the poorest children
  • a significant reduction in global vaccine prices.

The partnership between GAVI and AusAID has also seen the introduction of the pentavalent vaccine—which protects children against five deadly diseases (diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, hepatitis B and meningitis) in Myanmar, as well as in Papua New Guinea and Timor-Leste.

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Pacific Friends operates as a program within the Kirby Institute at the University of New South Wales.

Pacific Friends

Professor Janice Reid AC
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Bill Bowtell AO
Executive Director

Pacific Friends of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria is a high-level advocacy organisation which seeks to mobilise regional awareness of the serious threat posed by HIV & AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria to societies and economies in the Pacific. In pursuing its goals Pacific Friends has a specific interest in highlighting the need to protect the rights of women and children in the Pacific.

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