Immunisation saving lives

22 March 2012

Dr Seth Berkley, CEO of the GAVI Alliance visited JCSMR as the guest of AusAID to speak about Australia and GAVI: Saving the lives of women and children through immunisation.

Every year, nearly two million children die from diseases, mostly in developing countries – deaths that could have been prevented by vaccinations.

The work of the GAVI Alliance – formerly the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation – will be the subject of a talk tonight by CEO Dr Seth Berkley at the Australian National University.

 Dr Berkley will discuss the role of immunisation in saving the lives and improving the health of women and children worldwide, and what the future holds. He said AusAID and GAVI could be proud of its achievements to date, including the immunisation of more than 325 million children.

 But there is more work to be done, including introducing vaccinations that prevent cervical cancer in girls and women in developing countries, and immunising 588 children against rubella, therefore preventing severe birth defects.

Dr Berkley joined GAVI in August 2011, as it launched its five year strategy to immunise a quarter of a billion children in the developing world with life-saving vaccines by 2015. Before joining GAVI, he was the founder, president and CEO for 15 years of the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI), the first vaccine product development public-private sector partnership.

GAVI is a unique public/private partnership of international organisations, donor governments, developing countries, financing institutions and vaccine manufacturers committed to protecting people’s health through increasing access to immunisation.

For interviews contact Nick Luchinelli 0422 229 032

For media assistance: Sarina Talip 6125 7988 / 0416 249 241