Elizabeth was always getting sick as a child. She remembers breaking out in spots and being diagnosed with measles. She knows that she did not have access to basic childhood vaccinations, which would’ve prevented her from catching the disease.
“When I was a child, I was told I was always getting sick. I had measles and I know that was because I didn’t have the preventative vaccine. That is why I got it.”
Comic Relief has funded the GAVI Alliance since 2012, helping the organisation to ensure children across the globe receive life-saving vaccines. In 2016, Comic Relief partnered with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to award GAVI £4 million to supply three vaccines (pentavalent, pneumococcal and rotavirus) to hundreds of thousands of children in several African countries. As a result of these efforts, childhood vaccinations are now widely accessible in countries like Ghana, and mothers like Elizabeth are able to immunise their children from birth.
“I know that before this prevention, children got sick a lot, sometimes suddenly, and parents had to rush the child to the hospital. But with my kids, with the prevention, they don’t usually fall sick. They’re always in good health and play a lot."
Elizabeth sees how healthy, strong and happy her children are and is grateful that vaccinations are now readily accessible in Ghana.
“The vaccinations prevent them from getting diseases, so they have helped me and my children a lot. It prevents the children from getting sick easily. There used to be some terrible diseases, but now you can immunise against them. None of my children are suffering, so I know that the injections are good."
Almost half of all child deaths, across the world, are due to preventable, infectious diseases. Most countries have now introduced immunisation programmes, but many children are still not vaccinated adequately.
The GAVI Alliance brings together all the major players in global immunisation, from UN agencies to leaders within the vaccine industry. Comic Relief has funded the GAVI Alliance since 2012, helping them to provide live-saving vaccines to hundreds of thousands of children across Africa.