Islamabad: Over 80 million under-fives living in some of the poorest countries in the world will be vaccinated against killer diseases like pneumonia and diarrhoea with the help of UKaid as part of a broader collective effort.
Yesterday in London, a four-hour push to save lives hosted by UK Prime Minister David Cameron and Bill Gates (Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation), the UK Prime Minister called on other donors to dig deep in order to reach the target of vaccinating at least a quarter of a billion children in the next five years in order to save the lives of four million children.
The UK International Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell was recently in Pakistan where he visited Bhara Kahu Rural Health Centre near Islamabad, where he met mothers having their babies vaccinated against diseases including diphtheria, whooping cough, tetanus, Hib, and hepatitis-b. These vaccines are funded by GAVI global immunisation programme, which the UK is a major supporter of, and which helps protect millions of children in Pakistan every year.
A video of the UK International Development Secretary at Bhara Kahu Health Centre near Islamabad is here:
Andrew Mitchell, UK Secretary of State for International Development, said:
“On a visit to a health clinic in Pakistan two weeks ago, I met Kausar, who was watching anxiously as her baby daughter, Zhoab, was given her first set of vaccinations. Like all the mums I met that day, Kausar knew the seconds of pain her daughter had to endure would give her the best chance of surviving killer childhood diseases, like diarrhoea and pneumonia.
It is a scandal that a child dies every 20 seconds from diseases which can be prevented through a simple, cost-effective immunisation. By supporting GAVI to supply life-saving vaccinations, British aid is changing the lives of the world’s poorest people. For the price of a cup of coffee, we can vaccinate a child like Zhoab against five of the major childhood diseases – that’s value for money in my view.
People all over the UK can feel proud that, with the UK’s support, and the support of other countries, the private sector, and organisations from around the world, GAVI can give 250 million more children the start that Zhoab has had in life.”
The UK recently outlined its aid plans for Pakistan for the next four years. By 2015, if the Government of Pakistan makes progress on reform and results, UK aid will help prevent 3,600 mothers dying in childbirth; prevent half a million children from becoming under nourished; and save the lives of 110,000 children, including 44,000 newborns, by expanding basic health services at community level.
For more information, contact:
Head of Press and Public Affairs
British High Commission
Tel: +9251 201 2000
Cell: +92300 500 5306