Aid works: measles deaths reduced

The bad news is that over half a million children still die of measles each year, even though we can save these lives for less than a dollar each, using the measles vaccine. The good news is that, since 1999, the number of children dying of measles in Africa has been reduced by 46 percent. Globally, measles deaths have fallen by 39 per cent. Launched in February 2001, the Measles Initiative has so far vaccinated 160 million children in Africa. A further 51 million children under the age of 5 in 13 countries will be vaccinated in 2005. This extraordinary improvement is the result of cooperation between the American Red Cross, United Nations Foundation, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Federation, which supports the national Red Cross or Red Crescent Societies in the country in which a campaign occurs, as well as coordinating the activities of donor national societies. I’m so fed up of being told that aid goes down the drain. If we had more funds, we could do more of this.

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