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VillageReach is Improving Healthcare
The history behind VillageReach is very similar to The Borgen Project’s history. Blaise Judja-Sato, a native Cameroonian, founded VillageReach in 2000 after returning to Africa to aid in the relief efforts of a devastating flood in Mozambique. While he was in Mozambique, Judja-Sato saw a problem with the healthcare system. Since many citizens live in rural areas, the government could not provide them with the medical supplies they needed, which led to their frustration. Thus, she coined the phrase “starting at the last mile” and established VillageReach. Here is some information about how VillageReach is improving healthcare in low and middle-income countries.

Healthcare That Reaches Everyone

VillageReach’s mission is simple. It aims to reach “the last mile” in LMICs (low and middle-income countries) where people do not always have access to healthcare or any at all. Even with VillageReach, 1 billion people do not have access to healthcare. However, VR is working to improve the already existing health systems in different areas. It focuses on four pillars including healthcare accessibility, information availability, human resource constraints and lack of infrastructure. VillageReach is improving healthcare in these countries so that the people in and out of rural areas thrive.

Big Partners

Additionally, VR has over 30 partners that keep its organization running strong. From the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to UNICEF, VR has quite an array of influential partners. The President of the organization is Emily Bancroft. She stated that VR “could not have made an impact the last 20 years without the collaborative power of partnership.” The team is spread out over 13 countries. It has headquarters in Seattle, Washington and offices in Mozambique, Malawi and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

Drones

Furthermore, in 2019, VR collaborated with the Ministry of Health, Swoop Aero and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, to launch the Drone Project in the Équateur Province of the DRC. The partners decided to pick this place in the DRC because of its many geographical challenges. More than half of the health systems in place are only accessible by river. The goal of the Drone Project is to increase vaccine availability in areas that are hard to reach. The drones, provided by Swoop Aero, can take off with the push of a button and land without guidance. It can also carry around six pounds. After the Drone Project’s first flights were successful, the partners are already thinking bigger, brainstorming on how to send other medical supplies and equipment.

COVID-19 Response

Also, VR is a supporter of the COVID-19 Action Fund for Africa. The initiative works to supply PPEs (personal protective equipment) to community health workers in Africa. PPEs are practically inaccessible in most African countries and the consequences are horrible. Health workers stay home or work without PPEs. With health workers not working, there is no way that Africa will be able to stop the spread of COVID-19. VR plays a crucial part in the initiative’s seven-approach plan, which focuses on the last mile and working with similar in-country organizations to accomplish its goals.

Recognition

As a 20-year-old organization, VR received recognition numerous times for its fantastic work in Sub-Saharan Africa. Recently, the Washington Global Health Alliance honored VR with the Pioneers Outstanding Organization Award. The WGHA awards winners that work hard to improve health equity all over the world. The judges select winners, and in 2020, WGHA board member Erin McCarthy led it. VR received an award for its innovative approach, collaborations with local governments in the places it works and its international emphasis on equity.

Overall, from COVID-19 response to innovating delivering vaccines by drones, VillageReach has covered it all in its 20 years of service to the world. VR is improving healthcare, one small rural village at a time.

– Bailey Sparks
Photo: Flickr

Five Innovations in Poverty Eradication in Chad 
Chad is a land-locked country
 with sporadic rain patterns and regular droughts, but it has not given up its hope of ending poverty. With a population of approximately 15.5 million people, 66.2% of the population live in severe poverty with little access to clean water, healthcare and education. However, this has not stopped the Government of Chad or partnering organizations from aiding in the country’s advancement. Here are five innovations in poverty eradication in Chad.

5 Innovations in Poverty Eradication in Chad

  1. Bharti Airtel: This telecommunication company has operations in 20 countries in Africa and AsiaIt has made it its mission to invest in human capital in Africa, proposing that tech training and literacy are key in African economic development and that they can open doors for knowledge and education that can empower the younger generation. Over 6,000 people will benefit from the ICT training programs Airtel is implementing in Chad. 
  2. ResEau Project: The ResEau Project is making great advances in aiding the reduction of water scarcity in Chad. In Chad, 57.5% of the population lacks access to basic water services. Additionally, only 6% of citizens receive water from unsafe open sources such as rivers. The ResEau Project is working with the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation and the Government of Chad to create 3D models and map well sites and other water sources. Since the ResEau Project started working in Chad, the success rate for water drilling has gone from 30% up to 60%.
  3. Chad Education Sector Reform Project (PARSET): The Chad Education Sector Reform Project has been working on providing primary education to children. It has built and supplied 500 schools and trained over 13,000 teachers. In addition, the program has improved the rate of children attending school from 87% to 96%. It has taught upwards of 20,000 children to read and write, and about 60% of the students are girls. Moreover, many children have struggled to have access to education as most of the population is displaced and their families need them at home to help provide water and other necessities. The project started in 2013 and will continue through the fall of 2020.
  4. Emergency Agriculture Production Support Project: In this project, The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and World Food Program (WFP) are providing food vouchers and nutritional supplements for malnourished children. Chad faces major food scarcity due to frequent drought, lack of access to social services and the effects of regional conflict. In 2020 alone, approximately 1.8 million children 5 years old and younger will suffer from malnutritionThe agricultural production and livestock stabilization component of this project has provided over 30,000 households with agricultural equipment, seeds and fertilizer. Over 10,000 households received training in production techniques and more modern agricultural technologies
  5. Gavi The Vaccine Alliance: The Gavi Vaccine Alliance has provided vaccines to countries in poverty for years, preventing over 13 million deaths. The Gavi Vaccine Alliance has frequently partnered with leading organizations such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the World Bank, the World Health Organization, developing countries, vaccine manufacturers, private sector partners and research agencies to provide vaccinations against debilitating and deadly diseases. The Gavi Vaccine Alliance provides vaccines for measles, pneumonia, typhoid, cholera, rotavirus, yellow fever, hepatitis B and tetanus among several others. As the organization continued its work in Chad, difficulties arose with nomadic peoples with the organizations’ conventional outreach and vaccine opportunities. In fact, only 3% of children in Batha are receiving basic vaccinations. Gavi started a “One Health” approach to this and has seen great results. The program vaccinates children and animals in one setting. Additionally, at the same time, the program tries to provide convenience and efficiency to the nomadic peoples. 

Chad is working hard to lift its people out of poverty. This is evident in its unique approaches in important areas such as agriculture and livestock, education and technology access, life-saving vaccines and access to clean water. Increasing access to education and technological literacy along with high child vaccination rates in several areas should heavily aid in bringing a generation out of poverty. In addition, they should have opportunities in their adult lives to continue to work on even more innovations to further the success of their country

Madalyn Wright
Photo: Flickr

COVID-19 Response Plans
Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance is an international organization that Bill and Melinda Gates conceived and cofounded in the late 1990s. Its mission is to supply low-income countries with vaccinations they might otherwise have gone without. The organization has helped vaccinate more than 760 children. Additionally, it has saved more than 13 million lives in developing countries across the world. Gavi has recently aimed rigorous funding and supply distribution towards fighting COVID-19. The Vaccine Alliance has set aside $200 million for protective equipment, health care workers and increased testing with funding going towards low-income countries such as Myanmar, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Malawi, Sudan, Afghanistan, Liberia and Zimbabwe. Gavi’s 2020 initiatives and COVID-19 response plans are all efforts to prepare and provide for global health in the coming years.

The Alliance’s Fifth Phase

Gavi operates using a five-year strategic model and what it calls “phases”. With Phase I beginning in 2000, the alliance has followed this plan to the present day. In December 2019, the organization approved Phase V, a model that it will implement in 2021 and complete in 2025. Gavi tracks its success throughout these phases by creating specific goals in areas such as vaccines, equity and sustainability.

  1. The Vaccine Goal: The vaccine goal focuses on effective medical outreach and accessibility. It calls for the positive integration of vaccines into countries with the highest need. Gavi will then work with each country to identify its most prominent infection to decide which vaccination would be most helpful, also considering population when determining quantity. Further criteria of the vaccine goal include the continued introduction of immunizations that in turn will pave the way for proper health care and preparedness against preventable diseases.
  2. The Equity Goal: By bolstering health care systems, the equity goal promotes the importance of accessibility. With Gavi’s financial support, governments can prioritize “reaching the unreached.” This goal primarily deals with immunization delivery services and supply chains that will ensure the sustainability of accessible health care in that country. By ensuring that each individual receives what they need, the organization will cultivate further trust in immunization.
  3. The Sustainability Goal: The sustainability goal works to strengthen administrative support for immunizations. This support will hopefully call for a nationwide commitment towards eradicating death from preventable infections. By promoting public resources, instituting a system within the country to continue to fund immunizations and adding a system to ensure post-transition support, Gavi can safeguard accessible vaccines in developing countries.

The Gavi COMAX AMC

Inspired by its 2019 pneumococcal AMC commitment, Gavi announced The Gavi Advanced Market Commitment for COVID-19 vaccines (COMAX AMC) as one of its COVID-19 response plans at the Geneva June 2020 summit. Similar to previous market commitments for infections such as pneumococcal pneumonia and Ebola, this financial plan works to encourage vaccine makers to produce large quantities of immunizations without the worry of over-investing. Stock-piling now can guarantee that vaccines are available and have the ability to be distributed quickly in the future.

Gavi’s COMAX AMC has set a fundraising goal of $2 billion for a vaccine plan-ahead preparation. The first vaccine manufacturing company to contribute to this 2020 plan is AstraZeneca in partnership with the University of Oxford. Once a vaccine emerges, AstraZeneca promises to make 300 million dosages available to the world’s poor for distribution. AstraZeneca and Oxford have pledged to work without compensation through the entirety of the pandemic. Additionally, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPRI) will collaborate with COVAX AMC. Furthermore, CEPRI has offered to provide manufacturing funds.

The COVAX Facility

This global access facility works as an extension of the advanced market commitment. The Vaccine Alliance is calling for worldwide participation in a new fair-trade financial plan. Under the COVAX Facility umbrella, upper-middle and high-income countries will pool resources and share risk to create a structurally sound vaccine economy. These joint investments will embolden vaccine companies to intensify manufacturing. As a result, the price of a single vaccine will decrease, making distribution to lower-middle and low-income countries easier. The plan looks to take the uncertainty out of vaccine creation and vaccine investment. In this economic proposition, Gavi argues that COVID-19 is a global catastrophe that will require a global engagement to contain.

Gavi’s 2020 initiatives and COVID-19 response plans reference the importance of a unified approach when it comes to the creation and distribution of critical vaccines. Right now, there has been no successful formulation of a COVID-19 immunization, but Gavi, The Vaccine Alliance is doing what it can to provide monetary aid now as well as for the future.

– Alexa Tironi 
Photo: Wikimedia

biometric identificationGavi, the Geneva-based vaccine alliance, has partnered with Simprints Technology in order to provide more accurate records of vaccination for children in Bangladesh and Tanzania. The partnership hopes to use biometric identification methods to track the medical history of children under five. Because half of the children born in sub-Saharan Africa are not registered at birth, they lack an official “identity,” making it infinitely more difficult to access medical care and vaccinations for life-threatening diseases. This ever-evolving technology would allow doctors to administer immunizations at clinics to scan a child’s fingerprint, and immediately have access to a complete record of vaccinations.

What is Biometric Identification?

Biometric identification uses unique indications of a person, such as a fingerprint, voice recording, retinal scan or even an ear scan, as proof of a person’s identity. Major technology corporations like Apple have been moving towards this as a more secure mode of entry to devices like laptops or smartphones. As so many facets of daily life are digitalized, and with many people in developed countries possessing more than one device and countless online accounts, this method does away with the need for passwords and usernames. Instead, users may unlock their devices or accounts with their fingerprints or their face. Because of the reliability and security of this method, global poverty initiatives, like Simprints, are looking towards this technology as a means of accurately tracking medical history and practice.

The Security Risks

Though biometric identification poses many benefits, there are security risks to using this technology. Just as bank account passwords or credit card information can be hacked and stolen to be used for profit, so too can this more complex information. Hackers would not be stealing someone’s fingerprint or retinal scan. Instead, as technology like this becomes more prevalent, a robust online identity will be attached to individuals, geographic location, gender, and medical records. Access to this information may allow companies seeking a profit to contact a more specific demographic, and hackers may sell this information to people who may benefit from it.

These security risks are combatted by ensuring informed consent before any scans are taken and allowing every individual to determine for what purposes their data is used.

The Vaccination Record Initiative

Simprints Technology, a non-profit organization specializing in biometric identification, is providing the fingerprinting equipment for this trial. The company’s mission is to use biometric identifying technologies to fight global poverty, primarily by easing the minutia of healthcare. For example, these methods can also be used to increase maternal healthcare by more effectively tracking an expectant mother’s doctor visits.

In Bangladesh and Tanzania, Simprints and Gavi will work to create digital identities for thousands of young children. Simprints technology is so fine-tuned for this type of work that their equipment can account for the blurriness of a child’s fingerprints, and potential burning or scarring of the hands that is more common for people from this demographic. Once these programs are enacted, doctors or those working in medical clinics will simply scan a child’s finger to access a complete and accurate medical record.

Despite security concerns regarding biometric identification and its uses, this increased health initiative will safeguard children against preventable diseases. The program is a demonstration of how people with a desire to fight global poverty are doing so with revolutionary technology.

– Gina Beviglia
Photo: Flickr

Health Problems from Polluted Water

Water—our lives depend on it, but for many people around the world, this essential, life-giving liquid brings disease and even death. Today nearly one billion people have limited access to safe, clean water because of pollutants from inadequate sewage systems, industrial dumping, agricultural run-off and irresponsible manufacturing practices. The result? More people die every year from water contamination than war and other forms of violence combined. Each year, around 840,000 people die of health problems from water pollution.

3 Health Problems from Water Pollution

1. Diarrhea: The most common health problem from water pollution, diarrhea causes loose, watery stools, abdominal pain, dehydration and even death. Diarrhea is commonly caused by drinking, cooking or cleaning with water contaminated by feces. In India, a country where roughly half the population practice open defecation, diarrhea is the third leading cause of death in children under the age of five. In 2015, diarrhea killed an estimated 321 children every day in India. However, India is making efforts to prevent and treat diarrhea. In 2014, the country approved the Integrated Action Plan for Prevention and Control of Pneumonia and Diarrhea (IAPPD), with one of its main focuses being to provide safe drinking water and improved sanitation to Indian households. Since its adoption of IAPPD, India has improved treatment cover to those with diarrhea, launched immunization campaigns to treat diarrheal disease, and as of 2018 constructed household toilets in 52.16 percent of the IAPPD’s targeted 12 million rural Indian households. Because of these efforts, deaths of children below-four children in India have decreased by 52 percent over the last several years.

2. Cholera: Contracted by consuming contaminated water or food, cholera’s main symptoms are severe diarrhea and vomiting which leads to dehydration. There are an estimated 3-5 million cholera cases every year and the World Health Organization (WHO) reports that 54 percent of all cases are from developing countries in Africa whose inhabitants lack access to safe water, basic hygiene and sanitation facilities.  The Lake Chad Basin, which includes Nigeria, Niger, Mali, and Cameroon, reported that in 2018 there were eight times as many cholera cases compared to the previous four years in that region, with more than 23,000 people affected and over 388 deaths. In response to the increased cholera outbreaks in Africa, GAVI the Vaccine Alliance, along with WHO and the Global Task Force on Cholera Control (GTFCC), launched a massive vaccination drive throughout five African regions to help treat and extinguish further epidemics. Between 1997 and 2012 only 1.5 million doses of cholera vaccines were administered worldwide, but thanks to the vaccine drive, in just the first four months of 2018, 15 million cholera vaccines were approved for administration. The vaccine drive is part of a global initiative to reduce cholera deaths by 90 percent by the year 2030.  Dr. Seth Berkley, CEO of GAVI the Vaccine Alliance, shares that despite the vaccine drive’s importance in addressing the outbreaks, improved water and sanitation is “the only long-term, sustainable solution to cholera outbreaks.”

3. Dysentery: Dysentery is an inflammation of the intestines. Its symptoms include bloody diarrhea, fever, abdominal cramps and even excreting large portions of the intestinal membrane. Like many other health problems from water pollution, dysentery is spread through fecal-polluted water, and mainly impacts impoverished communities who rely on makeshift sewage systems and contaminated water sources for sanitation and drinking. Dysentery can be a major concern in refugee camps where insufficient and overwhelmed sanitation facilities and open-air sewage dumping become a breeding ground for water pollution diseases like dysentery, as the recent Rohingya refugee crisis in Bangladesh revealed. Dr. Samir Howlader, National Program Officer for Migration Health at the International Organization for Migration (IOM) reported that when the Rohingya refugees—over a million people have fled their homeland of Myanmar to seek refuge in Bangladesh—first arrived in the Bangladesh camp of Cox’s Bazaar in 2017 there were “effectively no facilities” for the new arrivals and dysentery was a common concern. In 2019 however, the UN’s refugee agency, UNHCR, made it possible for the largest-ever refugee camp sewage treatment plant to be constructed in Cox’s Bazaar. The now-operating plant treats the human waste of 150,000 people every day, protecting the refugee community from the previous dangers of sewage-contaminated water. Medical clinics set up in the camp by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) have also helped treat and eliminate dysentery from the community. Since 2017, over one million refugees have received consultations at IOM clinics, and Rick Brennan, director of emergency operations for WHO states that there has not been any significant increase in disease thanks to these diligent efforts.

Though health problems from water pollution claim too many lives each year, great progress is being made towards a solution. The UN reported that over the last two decades, 2.6 billion people gained access to an improved drinking water source.  Now more than ever there is hope as the global community and developing nations work together to address water pollution problems and create a world where everyone has access to safe, clean water.

– Sarah Music
Photo: Flickr

Pneumonia in Haiti
Pneumonia is lung inflammation caused by a viral or bacterial infection. It is one of the leading causes of death worldwide for children under the age of five. The issue is exacerbated by environmental and economic factors. Malnutrition weakens the immune system, especially in young children, and leaves people more susceptible to disease. Poverty and inadequate public infrastructure lead to poor access to medical care, affecting both those who are already sick and those trying not to contract an illness. By nearly every metric, Haiti is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, and this is further illustrated by the country’s high rates of pneumonia.

Vaccination Efforts in Haiti

According to a study conducted by Albert Schweitzer Hospital, pneumonia in Haiti is responsible for close to 40 percent of all deaths in children under the age of five. In response to the epidemic of pneumonia in Haiti, the Haitian government has focused on vaccinating more people. However, the country still lags behind the rest of the world in vaccination rates; according to a 2012 study, only 45 percent of children between one and two years old have been satisfactorily vaccinated.

The Benefits of Foreign Aid

The Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation, also known as the GAVI Alliance, has helped the Haitian government in reaching its vaccination goals. In a 2012 press release, the GAVI Alliance announced a nationwide vaccination campaign that would utilize both the pneumococcal and rotavirus vaccines, which would target the primary causes of pneumonia and diarrhea. The organization has also pledged $9.2 million in total support to the people of Haiti. The funding has gone toward immunization, injection safety and medical training.

Other organizations have attempted to address the problem of pneumonia in Haiti. In conjunction with USAID, the Haitian Health Foundation (HHF) runs 60 mobile health clinics that visit villages around Jérémie, a coastal town in southwestern Haiti. USAID also leads a team of health agents, who provide life-saving medical knowledge and doctor referrals so that victims of pneumonia can find the help they need. Within Jérémie, the Haitian Health Foundation runs a 27,000-square-foot outpatient clinic which serves more than 120,000 patients per year.

The Future of the Fight Against Pneumonia

However, the fight against pneumonia in Haiti is far from over. There are still massive regional disparities in vaccinations in Haiti which result in disparities in instances of pneumonia. For example, a study of vaccinations in Haiti found that western Haiti, as well as parts along the eastern coast, had a vaccination rate between 55 and 65 percent. In contrast, large swathes of central and southern Haiti had a vaccination rate of less than 35 percent.

The work of organizations like the GAVI Alliance, the Haitian Health Foundation and the government of Haiti has produced positive results in alleviating pneumonia. In southwest Haiti, child deaths from pneumonia have been cut in half. As a whole, Haiti’s mortality rate for people afflicted by pneumonia has plummeted since the ‘90s, despite the spike in pneumonia cases that occurred between 2004 and 2013. The fight is not over, but important battles are being won against pneumonia in Haiti.

-Peter Buffo
Photo: Flickr

tools to prevent cervical cancerCervical cancer continues to be a big problem for developing countries. More than eight out of ten cervical cancer deaths will happen in developing countries, in spite of the fact that the tools to prevent cervical cancer are available now.

How Countries are Addressing the Issue

In May 2018 in Geneva, Gavi the Vaccine Alliance “welcomed the call” issued by the World Health Organization Director-General, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, for coordinated action against cervical cancer. The first steps on the path to eliminating cervical cancer are sustainable disease control through significant investments and holistic health systems.

Currently, cervical cancer is projected to overtake childbirth as the leading cause of death among women, especially in low- and middle-income countries. Around the world, 266,000 women and girls die each year as a result of cervical cancer. By 2030, that number could increase to more than 380,000.

Eight Gavi-supported countries have launched the vaccine nationally with 30 countries implementing a demonstration program. Ethiopia and Senegal begin nationwide vaccination in 2018. These countries understand that the tools to prevent cervical cancer are available now.

Battling Cervical Cancer in Developing Countries

Cervical cancer is the third most common cancer worldwide, with 80 percent of cases happening in the developing world. It is the leading cause of death among women in developing countries, where it causes about 190,000 deaths each year. Cervical cancer risk is highest in Central America, sub-Saharan Africa and Melanesia.

A lack of effective screening programs used to detect and lead to treatment of pre-cancerous conditions is the major reason for the much higher cervical cancer occurrence in developing countries. Roughly about five percent of women in developing countries have been screened for cervical dysplasia, compared to 40 to 50 percent of women in developed countries.

Of the total number of cases of cervical cancer worldwide, 99 percent were estimated to contain HPV DNA. HPV virus infects the cells of the cervix and slowly causes pre-cancerous cellular changes (dysplasia) that progress. Women are generally at the highest risk of HPV infection in their teens, 20s or 30s. It can take as long as 20 years after the initial HPV infection for cancer to develop.

Using the Proper Tools to Prevent Cervical Cancer

In many developing countries, treatment options are limited. Cervical lesions are often treated with aggressive approaches like cone biopsies or hysterectomies (removal of the uterus) rather than with appropriate outpatient approaches.

Simple outpatient procedures should be used instead to destroy or remove pre-cancerous tissue. A common outpatient method is cryotherapy; another is a loop electrosurgical excision procedure (LEEP). LEEP does involve more equipment and supplies, but it removes diseased tissue while at the same time providing a specimen for analysis, reducing the possibility of overlooking invasive cancer.

The keys to curing cervical cancer and reducing HPV infections are education, screening and access to vaccines. What is required is the removal of barriers preventing women and girls from accessing the necessary healthcare. From vaccination campaigns to self-administered screenings, many countries are already on the right path to helping stop unnecessary deaths from cervical cancer. The tools to prevent cervical cancer are available now, and women in developing nations have a right to access those tools.

– Gustavo Lomas
Photo: Flickr

Vaccines Prevent Disease and PovertyVaccines are known to save lives and protect against diseases, but now can be credited for preventing poverty as well. A study done at Harvard University alongside Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance researched the economic effects of vaccines for 10 different diseases in 41 developing countries. The study concluded that vaccines would help to prevent 24 million people throughout the world’s poorest countries from falling into poverty by the year 2030. The study also estimated that vaccines given between 2016 and 2030 would prevent the deaths of 36 million people.

Vaccines contain the same antigens that are responsible for causing diseases. The antigens in the vaccines are killed or severely weakened and are unable to cause the disease, but are strong enough to allow the body’s immune system to produce the antibodies needed to become immune to the disease. Therefore, the protection comes without the child having to be sick or suffer from a disease. This reduces the cost of healthcare for families and allows them to save and spend more money, boosting the country’s economy.

Dr. Seth Berkley, the CEO of Gavi, talked about the effects on a child who receives vaccinations and their school attendance. He stated that a child who is healthy is more likely to attend school and become a productive member of society, and their families will not be obligated to pay the expensive healthcare costs that come with diseases. Healthcare expenses cause about 100 million people to fall into poverty each year, as medical treatment is one of the main reasons families are forced below the poverty line. With the use of vaccines, countries will be better protected from both disease and poverty.

The greatest poverty reducer will be vaccinations, by reducing the number of people who are living in poverty due to hepatitis B. Gavi anticipates this will help 14 million people avoid medical impoverishment. Poverty cases that are due to measles will be reduced by vaccines, which is anticipated to prevent 5 million cases as well as preventing 22 million deaths. Disease and poverty are linked through a cause and effect in that medical costs cause poverty in many developing countries.

The study also showed that the poorest 20 percent of the global population represented more than one-fourth of deaths that can be prevented by vaccinations. Furthermore, the study concluded that introducing vaccines in the poorest countries would have the largest impact on lowering the number of deaths and the number of people falling into poverty due to their medical expenses. Therefore, vaccines prevent both disease and poverty.

– Chloe Turner

Photo: Flickr

accomplishments of ONEThe ONE Campaign is an advocacy organization of more than nine million people around the world taking action to end extreme poverty and preventable disease, particularly in Africa. The accomplishments of ONE have been achieved through their work of raising public awareness and educating policymakers about the importance of smart and effective policies and programs to save those in the poorest countries. They engage in grassroots and direct advocacy with policymakers and key influencers around the world in support of such policies and programs.

Four of the major accomplishments of ONE include:

  • Helping secure at least $37.5 billion in funding for historic health initiatives, including the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria, and GAVI, the Vaccine Alliance.
  • Helping secure legislation in the U.S., Canada and the EU on transparency in the extractives sector to help fight corruption and ensure that more money from oil and gas revenues in Africa is used to fight poverty.
  • Successfully advocating for official development assistance, which has increased globally by $35.7 billion between 2005 and 2014.
  • Helping to get new U.S. legislation passed on energy poverty, such as the Electrify Africa Act of 2016.

ONE highlights 17 global goals for sustainable development including quality education, gender equality and more.

Through the Promising Practices in Refugee Education initiative, a partnership of Save the Children, Pearson and UNHCR, ONE shows how the global community can improve access to education for refugee girls in three ways:

  • Promote more gender-friendly education systems
    ONE’s focus is to develop a curriculum that includes female role models, encourages children to pursue non-traditional professions and supports teachers to increase their awareness on gender inequality.
  • Strengthen digital literacy
    Digital skills need to be taught in the classroom and training programs in online research and popular software programs are necessary to supporting refugee youth’s education.
  • Explore opportunities to expand Canada’s private refugee sponsorship model
    By expanding this program, private sponsorship will allow more people to be resettled at lower costs for national governments.

The accomplishments of ONE are seen in their efforts to empower girls, women, refugees and people in poverty through education, legislation and advocacy. Their goals, policies and programs are a key part of the global fight to end poverty.

– Julia Lee

Photo: Flickr

Increase Child Immunization
Orange, GAVI and Côte d’Ivoire Ministry of Health are coming together for a mobile phone project, “M-Vaccin Côte d’Ivoire,” which will increase child immunization by focusing on regions with the lowest immunization rates in the Côte d’Ivoire.

GAVI, the Vaccine Alliance

GAVI, the Vaccine Alliance, is dedicated to protecting children’s lives and health by providing immunizations in developing countries. Orange works towards providing technology to use as tools in both healthcare and also education and finances and believes that their digital outreach supports those aspects of underdeveloped countries.

The project will use Orange mobile technology to both inform parents about the importance of vaccinations through text and voice messages and to also make sure parents don’t forget about immunization appointments by sending reminders of the date and time of their child’s session.

Orange Technology

Orange will also be providing health care workers with the M-Vaccin mobile application that allows them to view data, create vaccination schedules for individual families they are caring for and monitor the results, which in turn should increase child immunization.

The partnership between these organizations will continue for five years; during this time, Orange and GAVI will combine to invest a collective $5.47 million in the project. Half of the investment will be from the GAVI Matching Fund, and the other half from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

This funding will go to support the outreach program and provide both mobile devices to those in need and healthcare workers, and also inform citizens about the importance of immunizations, and keeping up with vaccination appointments and learning sessions.

Project Implementation

The Project will be implemented in the 29 districts of Côte d’Ivoire where immunization is lower than the national average. Many of the parents living in these districts aren’t fully informed about immunizations, and often aren’t living close enough to healthcare centers in the first place. Côte d’Ivoire’s infant mortality rates are some of the highest in the world, and only continue to increase; about half of children under age one are immunized.

The M-Vaccin Program

The M-Vaccin Program expects to reach more than 800,000 children and could possibly be expanded into other countries in West Africa upon evaluation. Dr. Seth Berkley, the CEO if GAVI, said the partnership is really important for the children of Côte d’Ivoire, and that their parents do not receive enough information about vaccinations because of where they live.

Solving or working around these situational obstacles will significantly improve the rates of child immunization in the Côte d’Ivoire, and also hopefully serve as a catalyst for further increases in child immunization across the continent.

– Chloe Turner

Photo: Flickr