Funding GAVI to Save 4.2 Million Children's Lives by 2015: If We Don't Do It, Who Will?
The answer is, nobody. Right now there are no Congressional champions for vaccines even though the US helps fund GAVI (Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunizations). We need champions in the House and Senate now because there is an incredible opportunity to roll out two new vaccinations (one for rotavirus and one for pnemococcal disease), in 44 countries. This will save an estimated 4.2 million children's lives by 2015. Since the rotavirus vaccination was introduced in the US in 2006, hospitalizations due to rotavirus have dropped 56 to 86 percent. In developing nations where rotavirus is the biggest diarrheal killer of kids under age five, the rotavirus vaccination could save 500,000 lives per year.
On June 13 donor nations will come together in the United Kingdom for a GAVI pledging conference. The outcome of the conference will determine whether we'll GAVI has the resources to save 4.2 million lives with these new vaccines. What is needed from the US is a 3-year pledge totaling $450 million. We must make these new medical innovations available around the globe. Here's what you can do:
- This week, learn about GAVI, rotavirus, pneumococcal disease, and our campaign to fund GAVI for 2012 at $175 million. Use our action alert to call your members of Congress.
- Write a letter to the editor for Mother's Day (May 8) highlighting this exciting campaign to save 4.2 million young lives. We will have a sample letter available on our Take Action page on Friday, April 29.
- If you think your member of Congress could be a leader in asking President Obama to make a US pledge of $450 million over 3 years at the June 13 conference, contact Ken Patterson for assistance this week in making the request.
Other Top Actions to Assure Funding for Vital Foreign Assistance Programs
- Call Your Senators. The House of Representatives passed a budget for 2012 that would make draconian cuts to foreign assistance programs—the same programs that boost US exports, according to the Chamber of Commerce, and make us safer, according to 70 retired military leaders. The Senate must refuse this approach to reducing deficits. It risks our economy, our security, and lives. Let both of your senators know that we expect them to do better.