Thursday
Apr 30
2015
April 30, 2015

Berrington Shayo

Vaccine Program Manager, Tanzania, Clinton Health Access Initiative

We Can Reduce Child Mortality

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This story has been adapted from its original form. The full version can be found at africa.clintonfoundation.org

First, some good news: today there are 17,000 fewer children dying each day than in 1990. The world has made progress since committing to reduce child mortality as part of the Millennium Development Goals, and the rate of reduction is increasing. But we’re still falling short. Children in developing countries are ten times more likely to die before the age of five than children in developed countries. Even more devastating: around 70 percent of these deaths could be prevented with simple, affordable interventions.

Two of the three leading causes of death for children under the age of 5 are diarrhea and pneumonia, which combined kill 1.5 million children annually. We have the means to end this. The challenge now is finding ways to bring key interventions to scale—something the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI) is committed to helping to do.  

One way to do this is to increase vaccination coverage of the Rotavirus vaccine, which prevents the leading cause of diarrhea, and the Pneumococcal vaccine, which vaccinates against Streptococcus pneumonia. The Clinton Health Access Initiative has been rolling out interventions to scale these vaccines in Tanzania.

Vaccination is the most cost effective public health intervention; the estimated rate of return on investment for immunizations is as high as 18 percent. CHAI’s work in Tanzania is helping to build robust and sustainable vaccine delivery systems that will save lives and give more children a chance to benefit from 21st century advances.

See how increasing vaccination coverage is saving lives in Tanzania at africa.clintonfoundation.org/vaccines.