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Alma Sokolovic-Rasmussen

The Guardian: Why are millions of children still dying from preventable diseases?

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An effective immunisation programme, with a focus on universal coverage, can also help to build a functioning health system.

In the seemingly endless list of targets and goals in global health and development, one goal in particular should be a priority for leaders around the world. World immunisation week, which began on 24 April, offers an opportune moment to shine light on the progress being made to reach all children with vaccines through the global vaccine action plan (Gvap).

Endorsed by 194 member states at the 2012 world health assembly, the plan is a product of the decade of vaccines initiative (2010-20), an unprecedented collaborative effort to address the hurdles on the road to universal immunisation coverage. It’s an ambitious roadmap but, in reality, it is failing, with millions of children still dying from preventable diseases.

This year’s world immunisation week sits within the midpoint of the plan and takes place against a backdrop of missed targets and opportunities. Each unmet goal means children dying who could have been saved, and children put at risk of life-threatening and preventable diseases.

Read the full article on the Guardian's website

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