Monday January 22, 2018

Vaccine Price Drop will Save Millions of Child Lives in World’s Poorest Countries, says UNICEF

The U.N. children’s fund reports 1.5 million children under five die each year from illnesses preventable by vaccines

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FILE - Health official administers a polio vaccine to a child in Kawo Kano, Nigeria.VOA
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Geneva, October 20, 2016: The U.N. Children’s Fund reports a steep drop in the price of a crucial childhood vaccine will prevent millions of deaths in dozens of the world’s poorest countries.

The U.N. children’s fund reports 1.5 million children under five die each year from illnesses preventable by vaccines. Thanks to a breakthrough deal with six pharmaceutical companies to lower the price of a pentavalent vaccine many of these deaths will be averted.

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Director of UNICEF’s supply and procurement headquarters, Shanelle Hall, says it has taken 16 years to bring down the price of the vaccine.

“From next year through 2019, we will be able to procure this pentavalent vaccine, which protects children against diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, hepatitis B and Haemophilus influenza B for less than one dollar a dose, and that is half the price that we pay this year, this month, this week,” she said.

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Hall says that averages out to 84 cents a dose. She says 90 percent of the world’s children under five who die from vaccine-preventable diseases live in countries where vaccines are not fully funded by donors. She says the lower vaccine cost will make a difference between life and death.

“This price decrease will generate a savings of over $366 million for donors and governments who finance the vaccine,” she said. “And, it is important for access and also for pressures on national budgets.”

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The vaccine alliance GAVI funds immunization programs in developing countries. It estimates 5.7 million fewer children will die between 2011 and 2020 in 80 countries that will procure these cheap vaccines.

Hall says by 2020 donors will pay less as national budgets increasingly cover the cost of the pentavalent vaccines themselves. (VOA)

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  • Ruchika Kumari

    Good initiative
    There are still many kids who are not getting proper vaccine due to their poverty….hope this gonna work.

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69,000 babies born on New Year’s day in India: Unicef

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69,000 babies born on New Year's day in India: Unicef
69,000 babies born on New Year's day in India: Unicef. wikimedia commons
United Nations, Jan 2, 2018: The United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef) has estimated that nearly 386,000 babies were born on New Year’s Day, with India heading the list with 69,070.
More than 90 percent of the births took place in less developed regions, reports Xinhua news agency.
The Unicef reported that globally over half the births were estimated to have taken place in nine countries: India (69,070), China (44,760), Nigeria (20,210), Pakistan (14,910), Indonesia(13,370), the US (11,280), the Democratic Republic of the Congo (9,400), Ethiopia (9,020) and Bangladesh (8,370).
Among those children, some will unfortunately not make it past their first day.
In 2016, an estimated 2,600 children died within the first 24 hours every day of the year. Unicef said that for almost two million newborns, their first week was also their last.
In all, 2.6 million children died before the end of their first month. Among them, more than 80 percent died from preventable and treatable causes such as premature birth, complications during delivery and infections like sepsis and pneumonia.
Over the past two decades, the world has seen unprecedented progress in child survival, halving the number of children worldwide who die before their fifth birthday to 5.6 million in 2016.
But despite these advances, there has been slower progress for newborns. Babies dying in the first month account for 46 percent of all deaths among children under five.
Next month, Unicef will launch “Every Child Alive,” a global campaign to demand and deliver affordable, quality health care solutions for every mother and newborn.
These solutions include a steady supply of clean water and electricity at health facilities, presence of a skilled health attendant during birth, disinfecting the umbilical cord, breastfeeding within the first hour after birth and skin-to-skin contact between the mother and child. (IANS)