A global agency has announced a plan to increase the number of vaccines in Kenya and other countries to save lives.
The Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation (Gavi) will increase the number from six to 18 by 2025.
This means that Gavi will help Kenya buy rabies, multivalent meningococcal vaccines, yellow fever, cholera as well as funding for an Ebola vaccine stockpile once the World Health Organisation pre-qualifies it.
To ensure that the target is met, the agency has launched a fundraising drive with a target of US$ 7.4 billion.
The agency called on donors to back plans to immunise an additional 300 million children in developing countries between 2021 and 2025, saving up to eight million lives.
“Over the past two decades, the vaccine alliance has helped to protect a generation against some of the world’s deadliest diseases,” said Dr Seth Berkley, chief executive officer.
Dr Berkley said 1.5 million people are dying every year from preventable diseases; while climate change, conflict and urbanisation are combining to make it easier for outbreaks to spread.
He said that each dollar invested in immunisation gives a return of up to $54 in wider societal benefits.
“Children who are vaccinated are more likely to go to school. Their relatives aren’t forced to give up work to look after their sick children or fall into poverty, thanks to often-debilitating healthcare costs,” the CEO said
Currently, Gavi helps Kenya procure its vaccines through a co-financing model, where Kenya caters for 10 per cent of its vaccine budget (about Sh400 million) and Gavi pays the rest yearly.
The money is used to purchase pentavalent, pneumococcal vaccine, rotavirus and yellow fever vaccines.