In some of the most rural areas of the world, people suffer from preventable diseases due to exposer to unsanitary drinking water and poor living conditions. While organizations continue the fight to bring clean water and food to these areas, it is also important that rural populations have access to vaccinations to help them combat these diseases. According to UNICEF, immunizations have the potential to save up to three million children yearly. However, there has been a decline in the progress of maintaining the spread of vaccinations.
The World Health Organization (WHO) is working to improve the distribution of immunizations in developing countries. According to the WHO, all of the 194 member states belonging to the WHO endorsed the Global Vaccine Action Plan (GVAP) in 2012. Moreover, member states have set goals to eliminate six diseases by the end of 2015. Although there continues to be a gap with one in five children missing vaccines, WHO hopes to see a world free of preventable diseases by 2020.
The goal to spread vaccination around the world by 2020 is also known as the Decade of Vaccines– implemented in 2011 and already eliciting substantial progress. The Gates Foundation has invested in vaccines and immunizations to help achieve the goals of the Decade of Vaccines. The Foundation understands the restrictions that keep vaccinations from people in rural areas, especially since some vaccines need refrigeration which is lacking in these places. The Gates Foundation continues to “support the innovation needed to develop new vaccines and new delivery technologies and approaches.”
The Center of Disease Control (CDC) also continues to take action against vaccine-preventable diseases, disability and death. It is important “to protect the health of Americans and global citizens by preventing disease, disability, and death through immunization,” says the CDC, as stated in their Global Immunization Strategic Framework for 2011-2015. Organizations like these provide hope that the world will some day be free of preventable diseases. Although there are many places that continue to be hard to reach, the fight to vaccinate the world by 2020 continues in full force.
– Kimberly Quitzon