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Dan Thomas

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It's Vital the Global Community Gets Behind World Immunisation Week

Posted: 26/04/2012 00:00

Tragedy, hope and raw determination!

Have you ever been to the movies and seen a trailer for a film that you previously had no interest in seeing and then suddenly thought to yourself, "That is a film I CANNOT MISS"?

That was the idea behind GAVI's most recent production. It's a short film by a talented young American film maker called Ryan Youngblood that I stumbled across in Kigali one day and I think he and producer Doune Porter more than fulfilled their brief. In three short minutes they capture the palpable sense of urgency, expectancy, hope and pride as Ghana's Ministry of Health prepares to introduce not just one, but two new vaccines into its national immunisation programme.

The pneumococcal and rotavirus vaccines will protect infants against the leading causes of the two biggest killers of children in Ghana and throughout the developing world - pneumonia and diarrhoea. Watching Ryan's film, you quickly come to appreciate just how vital it is that the global community gets behind the effort to bring affordable vaccines to the peoples of the developing world and end the blight of these preventable diseases, which cut millions of young lives short before they have had a chance to blossom and grow.

The GAVI Alliance and our partners UNICEF and WHO are working with Ghana's Ministry of Health to plan a massive celebration in Accra on April 26, during World Immunization Week, at which the first children will be vaccinated.

On the same day, halfway across the world in Atlanta, Georgia, USA, our friends at the UN Foundation will be - launch the Shot@Life campaign to encourage the American public to champion vaccines as one of the most cost-effective ways to save children's lives around the world.

It's such an exciting time to be working in the global health arena as more and more powerful people and institutions recognise the value of investing in people's health. We are literally seeing progress across the world on a daily basis.

As you can imagine, back in Ghana our colleagues are feeling more than a little pressure to show the world that they can deliver on the promise to bring about a huge change in the health, lives and prospects of the next generation. This film brilliantly captures the careful, methodical planning that is involved in introducing new vaccines into Ghana's national health programme. It also portrays the skill, wit and energy that Ghanaian health professionals are investing in this extraordinary initiative.

Like the best movie trailers, this little film has all the right ingredients to make you want to know what happens next: handsome men, beautiful women, tragedy, suspense, despair, hope and raw determination!

Watch it now, you won't be disappointed.

Ghana vaccine launch trailer from GAVI Alliance on Vimeo.

 

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