Each year close to 30 million children do not receive basic immunizations and more than two million people die of vaccine-preventable diseases. There are major challenges to equality of immunization coverage between and within countries in Asia. Some of these challenges that combine to produce poor vaccination coverage are conflict, absence or a breakdown of health infrastructure including the necessary people to carry out the vaccination, geographical isolation and a lack of accurate demographic and health information. The Louise and Arde Bulova Fund's commitment to action is therefore focused on reaching these marginalized people and also helping to meet the United Nations Millennium Development Goal of reducing the under five child mortality rate by two-thirds.
Currently, Timor-Leste has one of the lowest rates of immunization in the world. We commit to working with the Timor-Leste government to increase child survival rates in the country by developing and putting in place sustainable infrastructure which allows vaccinations for preventable diseases to be transported and administered to children aged 5 and under throughout the country.
Actions to be taken to implement the commitment will include:
a) Working with the relevant government officials of Timor-Leste, including the Health Minister, to determine the country specific needs with respect to immunization.
b) Together with the government, private sector organizations and NGOs, developing a framework for a systematic and sustainable program for the transport of vaccinations.
c) Undertaking fundraising to meet the program's needs.
d) Rolling-out the program through the country.
Will serve as a conduit for GAVI, HART and UNICEF and will ultimately be responsible for the strategic implementation of this program. GAVI is currently in the process of reviewing the government's application for funds to strengthen the existing health system. These funds, if available, will go directly from GAVI to WHO and UNICEF and will cover costs of solar refrigerators, motor bikes and staff in order to facilitate transport. We will work with existing transportation systems and networks established by corporate entities to implement the delivery of vaccines.
One of the greatest hurdles for increasing child survival rates is the cost of transporting vaccinations to those communities who need them the most. The Louise and Arde Bulova Fund therefore looks forward to working with organizations that have access to transport systems, are already engaged in transporting their own products to rural areas of Timor-Leste or are willing to fund the costs of transportation. They would also look to working with local NGOs in the affected communities to support the distribution and administration of the vaccinations.
They also seek partnership with other corporate donors as well as individual philanthropists.