A child in Uganda receives a measles vaccination, protecting him against the deadly disease.
Lions Clubs International Foundation (LCIF) is encouraging Lions around the world to take part in World Immunization Week, April 24–30, 2014. This week-long event is designed to raise awareness of the life-saving value of vaccines and encourage families to vaccinate their children.
In celebration of World Immunization Week, LCIF has launched a 30-day challenge to raise US$1 million for the One Shot, One Life: Lions Measles Initiative. Measles donations to LCIF during the month of April will be matched by the family of Lions Abhey and Aruna Oswal, of New Delhi, India, for a total donation of up to US$500,000.
Lions in many African and South Asian countries will be actively promoting the 2014 World Immunization Week theme, “Are you up-to-date?” in their local communities. In coordination with their ministries of health and other partners, Lions will encourage community members to get up-to-date on any needed vaccines, and advocate for strengthening the immunization systems in their countries.
Measles is a highly infectious disease that kills an estimated 335 people every day, mostly children, even though there is a safe and cost-effective vaccine available. Measles can also lead to serious complications such as pneumonia, encephalitis and blindness. Routine immunization is one of the most successful and cost-effective public health initiatives today.
To continue its work in the fight against measles, LCIF partnered with the GAVI Alliance in 2013 to protect millions of children in the world’s poorest countries against measles. Over 100 million children will be vaccinated through the partnership.
“I’m proud of what Lions have accomplished in the fight against measles, and we’re looking forward to accomplishing more with the GAVI Alliance. Together, we are saving lives and making the future safer, healthier and brighter for children,” said LCIF Chairperson Wayne Madden.
LCIF has committed to raising US$30 million to improve access to vaccines through the GAVI Alliance. The funds will be matched by the UK’s Department for International Development and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, bringing the total to US$60 million. Lions also play a key role in social-mobilization efforts in GAVI-supported vaccination campaigns.
Lions clubs and GAVI work with ministries of health in developing countries to ensure children are vaccinated against measles and rubella. Lions also work with local leaders, coordinate community-level publicity and serve as volunteers at vaccination centers.
“The partnership between GAVI and Lions Clubs provides a tremendous opportunity to extend the benefits of immunization to tens of millions of children by helping mobilize parents to get their kids immunized, including against measles and rubella,” said Dr. Seth Berkley, CEO, the GAVI Alliance.
Lions have been active in GAVI-supported measles and measles-rubella immunization campaigns in Ghana, Nigeria, Senegal, and Bangladesh. Lions will be supporting measles-rubella campaigns in Tanzania and Burkina Faso later this year.
Learn more about how Lions can support World Immunization Week by contacting the Lions Clubs International Foundation at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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About Lions Clubs International Foundation
Lions Clubs International Foundation (LCIF) is the charitable arm of Lions Clubs International. Since its founding in 1968, LCIF has given more than US$826 million in grants to support the work of Lions in their local and global efforts to save sight, serve youth, provide disaster relief, and meet humanitarian needs, including efforts to combat measles. Learn more at www.lcif.org.
About GAVI Alliance
The GAVI Alliance is a public-private partnership committed to saving children’s lives and protecting people’s health by increasing access to immunization in poor countries. The Alliance brings together developing country and donor governments, the World Health Organization, UNICEF, the World Bank, the vaccine industry, technical agencies, civil society, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and other private sector partners. GAVI uses innovative finance mechanisms, including co-financing by recipient countries, to secure sustainable funding and adequate supply of quality vaccines. Since 2000, GAVI has contributed to the immunization of an additional 440 million children and the prevention of approximately 6 million future deaths. Learn more at www.gavialliance.org.