Lions in Ghana supported a nationwide measles-rubella vaccination campaign in September that targeted over 11 million children. Hundreds of Lions participated in social mobilization efforts and supported vaccination sites throughout the 10-day campaign.
Ghanian Lions facilitated several meetings with community leaders in order to share the importance of immunization and to encourage leaders to get their communities vaccinated. To help get the word out to locals, Lions distributed t-shirts promoting the safety and effectiveness of vaccines, sponsored an awareness campaign on the radio, and distributed a press release that was picked up by local newspapers.
Lions worked closely with the Ghana Health Service and a coalition of NGOs throughout to help ensure children’s access to immunization. Several Lion leaders traveled to Tamale for the campaign’s national launch, including IPDG Gloria Lassey, who addressed the gathering of more than a thousand people.
“The campaign enhanced the quality of life for children who would otherwise have been hit by childhood blindness or hearing defects through measles or rubella infection. It also raises the visibility of our noble association and helps us fulfill our mission of service to mankind,” said IPDG Lassey. “The initiative was important for the nation of Ghana because it helps achieve our Millennium Development Goal.” Millennium Development Goals are established by the U.N. to address global issues such as poverty, hunger and disease.
Ghana’s measles-rubella campaign was the first in-country collaboration between Lions and the GAVI Alliance since the LCIF-GAVI partnership was announced in July. GAVI is 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.
In addition to Lions’ providing local support for GAVI-supported measles and rubella campaigns like in Ghana, LCIF has also committed to raising US$30 million to improve access to vaccines through the GAVI Alliance. The funds will be matched by the UK’s Department for International Development and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, bringing the total to US$60 million.