Huge strides are being made in the availability of vaccines in Cambodia. Cambodia has implemented a combined vaccine to fight off measles and rubella, two of the country’s deadliest diseases. This immunization campaign will be the biggest one in Cambodian history, and more than four million children will receive this vaccine within the next four months.
These advancements are partially made possible by the Global Alliance for Vaccines (GAVI), a nonprofit organization that strives to increase global health by increasing access to vaccines. GAVI has contributed $3 million dollars specifically to helping Cambodia with this campaign and $600 million to help multiple countries introduce this combined vaccine into their countries.
In addition to Cambodia, Ghana, Rwanda and Senegal are introducing this combined vaccine to their countries. By the end of 2014, these four countries will have vaccinated a combined total of 28 million children.
Cambodia has also started a campaign called “reaching every community” to make sure the majority of their population has access to vaccines. Since 2000, Cambodia has almost doubled the amount of children getting vaccines. Before “reaching every community” started, 1,600 communities did not have the abilities to travel to get vaccines and therefore were not able to receive any. The majority of these communities were poor and many of the community members were ethnic minorities or from internal migrant populations.
“Reaching every community” gives more communities access to vaccines by bringing the immunization process to them. This is made possible because health care center volunteers have mobilized themselves by sending volunteers to remote communities. The volunteers communicate via mobile phones, and then the volunteers alert the community members when vaccines will be available in their direct communities. The vaccines are given at immunization stations and those are typically held at market places or the homes of village leaders.
– Olivia Hadreas