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Health bonds to immunize the poor

by Medindia Content Team on  December 12, 2005 at 12:00 PM General Health News   - G J E 4
Health bonds to immunize the poor
The Global Alliance of Vaccines and Immunisation (GAVI) will float the first 'global health bonds' to raise $ 4 billion to make healthcare accessible to the poorest of the poor, and strengthen global immunization efforts.
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The move will provide an opportunity to concerned individuals and groups across the world to become part of the efforts to make healthcare accessible to the poor, in addition to making a sound investment.

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Giving information about the bonds that are expected next year, the Advocacy and Communication in-charge of GAVI Alliance, Jean-Pierre Le Calvez, said that part of the International Finance Facility for Immunization scheme, which will go public next year, is a new financing mechanism to leverage money from the international capital markets for use.

GAVI partners include UNICEF, WHO, The World Bank, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the vaccine industry and a host of voluntary agencies.

The financing is expected to accelerate significantly the availability of new development funding. The resources will be used to frontload development spending in health interventions most likely to have a quick and profound effect on bringing down morbidity and mortality.

The money collected through this latest scheme will also be used to support health systems that will be needed to expand access to traditional vaccines and manage and deliver new vaccines. GAVI's major initiatives include supporting new vaccines and strengthening immunisation services. The aim is to disburse funds which will provide recipient countries with predictable, stable and coordinated aid flows to finance the investments needed to reduce mortality related to poverty.

If countries achieve the health goals set for 2015, more than 70 million children who live in the world's poorest countries will receive each year life-saving vaccines against the following diseases: tuberculosis, diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, measles, rubella, yellow fever, haemophilus influenzae type B, hepatitis B, polio, rotavirus, pneumococcus, meningococcus, and Japanese encephalitis.

The poorest countries currently finance, on average, one-third of their immunization expenses. Immunization is a global public good and until these countries are able to take on a greater proportion of their immunisation expenses, it is in the interest of resource-rich countries to cover some of the long-term costs. In an interconnected global community, there is increasing vulnerability to the spread of disease, making immunization even more critical.

In addition to providing protection to children from vaccine-preventable diseases, immunization programs also serve as a platform to strengthen health systems and to deliver other life-saving interventions such as those against malnutrition, malaria and intestinal worms.

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