POTUS petition to increase funding to fight measles and rubella

Join us to support greater investment in measles and rubella mortality reduction activities. Let’s reach every child!

The Measles & Rubella Initiative faces a serious funding shortfall this year. Lack of funding has left millions of children not being vaccinated and delayed response efforts during large outbreaks in Ethiopia, South Sudan, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Thousands of children’s lives hang in the balance, threatening to turn back the progress we have made over the past 15 years that has reduced measles mortality by 79% and saved 17.1 million lives.

Despite the availability of a safe, effective, and affordable vaccine, each day measles still kills about 315 children. M&RI has helped prevent millions of deaths through immunization, but a core contributor to the partnership – the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – has not received a significant increase in funding for measles prevention activities since 2010.

The United Nations Foundation Shot@Life campaign is a grassroots advocacy organization that supports the UN and vaccine partners around the globe to stop deadly and disabling vaccine-preventable diseases. Right now the campaign is promoting a petition and Call to Action in support of greater U.S. government investment in measles mortality reduction activities that will save children’s lives. Please join your voice together with Shot@Life Champions and sign this petition.

Measles moves fast, but together we can move faster.

Measles & Rubella Initiative welcomes partner commitment to raise an additional US $60 million

Quick look: Lions Club International and GAVI Alliance partner to protect children from measles

ATLANTA/GENEVA/NEW YORK/WASHINGTON – 8 July 2013: Today, the Measles & Rubella Initiative welcomes the Lions Clubs International plans to raise $US 30 million for measles immunization. The funds will be given to the GAVI Alliance and can double to US$60 million with matching commitments made by the UK Government and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Nearly all countries of the world – 183 of the 194 World Health Organization Member States – have committed to eliminate measles before or by 2020, a goal of the Global Vaccine Action Plan. The Measles & Rubella Initiative is committed to help countries reach their measles and rubella elimination goals by offering funds, technical and advocacy support.

“Measles remains an important cause of child deaths, but these are completely preventable if 95% of children are vaccinated,” said Dr. Peter Strebel, in charge of accelerated disease control at the WHO, on behalf of the Measles & Rubella Initiative. “We believe that countries which want to eliminate measles should be supported to achieve this critical child health goal. With ongoing measles and rubella outbreaks, new funding support is urgently needed and very welcome.”

The Measles & Rubella Initiative is a global partnership dedicated to ensuring no child dies from measles or is born with congenital rubella syndrome. Since 2001, the Initiative has distributed more than US $950 million, delivered more than 1.1 billion doses of measles vaccine in 80 countries, and helped reduce measles deaths globally by 71%. Lions Clubs International, the GAVI Alliance, the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation are valued partners in this effort.

A major focus of the Measles & Rubella Initiative is specialised technical and advocacy support offered through its spearheading partners – the World Health Organization, UNICEF, US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the American Red Cross, and the United Nations Foundation — to national immunization programs. This includes support for program evaluation, disease surveillance, outbreak response, laboratory networks and vaccination campaign planning, as well as social mobilization to increase demand for immunizations.

The Initiative is also advocating for eligible countries to introduce a combined measles-rubella vaccine, which will be funded by the GAVI Alliance. Using the combined vaccine, countries can work towards eliminating measles and stopping rubella, which causes about 100,000 babies to be born with birth defects every year. Despite the gains made against measles, about 430 children still die each day of measles-related complications, and measles outbreaks continue in several countries in Africa, Asia, and Europe.\

For more information contact:

  • Hayatee Hasan, WHO Geneva, +41 79 500 6532, HasanH@who.int
  • Alan Janssen, US CDC, Atlanta, +1 (404) 639 8517, axj3@cdc.gov
  • Eric Porterfield, UN Foundation, Washington, +1 (202) 352 6087, eporterfield@unfoundation.org

Our website: www.MeaslesRubellaInitiative.org

Follow us on Twitter: @MeaslesRubella