"Immunization saves the lives of millions of children every year, and is one of the most cost-effective health investments," said Minister Fantino. "Through Canada's Muskoka Initiative and our commitment to child health, Canada has helped rally global support to immunize 80 percent of children, and we are working together to ensure we reach every last child."
The Global Vaccine Summit took place during the second annual World Immunization Week, which is recognized by the World Health Organization and aims to promote the use of vaccines to immunize people of all ages against diseases. For more information, please visit CIDA's page on immunization.
Today at the Global Vaccine Summit, Minister Fantino announced that the Government of Canada will allocate $250 million between 2013 and 2018 to support the global goal of eradicating polio. This commitment will advance Canada's development priority of securing the future of children and youth and improving maternal, newborn, and child health, and includes an opportunity for Canadian engagement in polio eradication. This amount represents a 41-percent increase compared to the average amount contributed per year to polio since 2006. This $250 million will support the Global Polio Eradication Initiative to implement strategies and programs to eradicate polio and strengthen health systems, particularly in the three countries where polio remains a persistent problem: Afghanistan, Nigeria, and Pakistan. It will also support efforts to ensure the supply of quality immunizations and work toward innovative technologies to sustain immunization programs, including support for disease surveillance and response systems.
Today's announcement includes the following polio initiatives:
- Additional immunization activities through the World Health Organization will address current immunization coverage gaps in high-risk and endemic areas under the 2012-2013 Emergency Plan. These activities include tailored approaches for mass-immunization campaigns targeted at children under the age of five. The project will address current gaps in immunization coverage in high-risk and endemic areas by supporting supplementary immunization activities. The plan focuses action to stop polio virus transmission and to respond rapidly to any new outbreaks in high-risk areas. ($18 million)
- There will be a first contribution to the Global Polio Eradication Initiative's 2013-2018 Polio Eradication and Endgame Strategic Plan through the World Health Organization. This funding will provide first-year support for the rapid implementation of the plan, which is a comprehensive road map toward the goal of completely eradicating polio. The plan has been developed in response to the call for eradication and in coordination with national health authorities, scientific experts, and other stakeholders, including donors. The 2013-2018 Polio Eradication and Endgame Strategic Plan will build upon the progress of the 2012-2013 Emergency Plan and will focus on such activities as increasing the capacity of national governments to respond to polio virus outbreaks; strengthening monitoring and surveillance systems, particularly in the three endemic countries; and strengthening the delivery of vaccines to children under the age of five in endemic and high-risk areas. ($20 million)
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