Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance
Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance and Lions Clubs International announced a unique partnership at the Hamburg Convention that will help to protect tens of millions of children in the world’s poorest countries against measles, a highly infectious disease that kills an estimated 430 people every day, mostly in developing countries.
Under the partnership, Lions Clubs International will deploy its network of 1.35 million volunteers to raise US$30 million and to improve access to vaccines through Gavi, a public-private partnership whose mission is to save children’s lives and protect people’s health by increasing access to immunization in the world’s poorest countries.
The funds raised by the Lions will be matched by the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, bringing the total to US$60 million. The announcement was made at the Lions Clubs’ 96th annual convention in Hamburg, Germany.Watch a video from the international convention announcing the partnership.
The Measles & Rubella Initiative
LCIF is an official partner of the Measles & Rubella Initiative (formerly the Measles Initiative), a collaborative effort of the World Health Organization (WHO), the United Nations Foundation, UNICEF, American Red Cross and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to reduce the number of measles-related deaths. The Measles & Rubella Initiative is considered one of the most effective partnerships in the history of public health.
The Measles Initiative was launched in 2001 on the premise that any death from measles is one too many. At that time, measles was the single largest, vaccine-preventable cause of death among children. Partners provide technical, financial and grassroots support for measles vaccination campaigns.
By combining resources, the Measles Initiative achieved great results in its goal to eliminate measles. Over 1 billion children have been vaccinated. Children in more than 80 countries have received vaccinations, reducing measles deaths by 90 percent in nearly all countries.
In April 2012, the Measles Initiative changed its name to the Measles & Rubella Initiative. The new name fits its new global strategy of targeting rubella and congenital rubella syndrome along with measles, through one combined vaccination.
The Measles & Rubella Initiative has strong support from the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation (GAVI), and is welcoming new partners including the American Academy of Pediatrics, the International Pediatric Association and the Sabin Vaccine Institute.
LCIF and Lions are proud to partner with organizations leading the effort to end measles. Together, we are making measles history.
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
To expand upon Lions’ efforts during last year’s pilot program, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation challenged Lions to raise US$10 million. For every US$2 donated by Lions, the Gates Foundation provided US$1 in matching donations. The US$5 million grant was the largest single donation in LCIF’s history. This historic gift from the Gates Foundation is a significant milestone for Lions and will ensure the healthy lives of many more children.
The One Shot, One Life: Lions Measles Initiative reached its goal to raise US$15 million for the Measles & Rubella Initiative in October 2012. Donations for measles can continue to be made online and all donations that help meet the challenge are eligible for Melvin Jones Fellowship recognition.