Globally, rates of extreme poverty are declining. But, that positive progress isn’t reflected when we examine poverty rates at a regional level. 70% of the world’s poorest live in Africa and forecasts indicate that “by 2030, nearly 9 in 10 extremely poor people will live in sub-Saharan Africa.”
So, how can we change this? One key way to stem poverty is to invest in key interventions that will enable people to live healthy and productive lives, like vaccines.
The power of vaccines
Vaccines are tiny, cost-effective interventions that take just moments to administer and provide a child with lifelong immunity against some of the world’s most infectious diseases. But more broadly, vaccinations can help prevent people from slipping into poverty.
Studies report that vaccines administered between 2016 and 2030 will help prevent 24 million people in 41 of the world’s poorest countries from falling into poverty. How? It’s pretty straightforward.
Ultimately, the less time kids spend at home sick, the more time they can spend in school and the more time parents have to go to work and earn an income. Let’s explore this a bit more.
Being healthy is economical for everyone
At a community level, healthier kids help economies grow by increasing a family’s ability to save income and spend at local businesses. For families living in low- and middle-income countries, the time spent generating income instead of taking care of sick children could result in additional income to spend or save. A study in 2011 predicted that increased rates of vaccination against pneumonia, meningitis, rotavirus, pertussis, measles, and malaria would save $6.2 billion in treatment costs. That’s money that could be put towards things like education, healthy food, and savings. Thanks to Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, the study’s prediction is becoming a reality.
Besides the economic benefits, the effect of healthier children is undeniable. Children who get sick less often attend school more frequently and achieve better test results. Ultimately, this helps prepare kids to enter adulthood with better employment and earning prospects. Vaccination is a key part of the cycle we need to perpetuate to end extreme poverty.
How we can make sure kids get immunised
If we want to raise a healthier generation of kids, we need to ensure they’re able to access vaccinations no matter where they live. That’s why we’re supporting Gavi this year.
Gavi has already helped to protect an entire generation of kids. In just two decades, they’ve immunised over 760 million kids. If they are fully funded this year, they can help immunise another 300 million kids by 2023.