Blog about World Immunization Week 2012 by Dan Thomas, Head of Media and Communications at the GAVI Alliance, a public-private partnership which aims to save children’s lives and protect people’s health by increasing access to vaccines in the world’s poorest countries.
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 three-minute 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.
On April 26, during WHO’s first-ever World Immunization Week
, Ghana will introduce not just one but two new vaccines into its 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.
The GAVI Alliance and our partners UNICEF and WHO are working with Ghana’s Ministry of Health to plan a massive celebration
in Accra 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 launching 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 global health and, as more and more power brokers embrace 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 and this film brilliantly captures the careful, methodical planning process that is involved in introducing new vaccines into the 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, our 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!
It is also available in French here