4 December 2012

Africa: Gavi Board Reappoints Dagfinn Høybråten as Chair

press release

Dar es Salaam — The GAVI Alliance Board today unanimously reappointed Dagfinn Høybråten to serve a second-year term as the GAVI Board Chair. Mr. Høybråten has held the position since 2011.

Under Mr. Høybråten's leadership, GAVI secured an unprecedented US$ 4.3 billion at its first pledging conference in June 2011, far exceeding the US$ 3.7 billion target and enabling the Alliance to commit funding to immunise a quarter billion of the world's poorest children by 2015.

The pledges have enabled GAVI to introduce pneumococcal and rotavirus vaccines against the primary causes of the two biggest killers of children - pneumonia and diarrhoea respectively - including GAVI's first simultaneous rollout of these vaccines in Ghana in April 2012.

"The importance of GAVI's work - saving children's lives and improving people's health - cannot be overstated, and so it is an honour and privilege to serve as its Chair," Mr. Høybråten said. "We have before us a goal of saving an additional four million lives by 2015. I am committed to helping make this a reality with the help of our Alliance partners and donors."

We have before us a goal of saving an additional four million lives by 2015. I am committed to helping make this a reality with the help of our Alliance partners and donors.

Mr. Høybråten has also led GAVI toward a broader focus on women and families, with the Board taking steps toward the introduction of human papillomavirus (HPV) and rubella vaccines in developing countries. HPV causes about 275,000 cervical cancer deaths each year, of which 88% occur in developing countries; the vaccine is administered to teenage girls. Rubella is contracted by pregnant women and leads to birth defect. It is most prevalent in developing countries.

Mr. Høybråten is a Vice President of the Norwegian Parliament and a former Minister of Health for Norway. He recently was appointed to serve as Secretary General of the Nordic Council of Ministers, which oversees regional cooperation among the five Nordic countries and related territories.

Even with these public commitments, Mr. Høybråten has managed to travel the globe in support of GAVI's mission, becoming the first GAVI Alliance Chair to visit the western hemisphere during an April 2012 trip to Haiti. He most recently helped launch the pentavalent vaccine in Myanmar.

"GAVI's achievements in public health represent the achievements of its many Alliance partners, supported by the steady, trusted hand of Dagfinn Høybråten," said GAVI CEO Dr Seth Berkley. "His vision and guidance as Chair has and will continue to be instrumental in our work."

Mr. Høybråten has been a member of the GAVI Alliance Board since 2006 and was instrumental in helping ensure a gender balance in all of GAVI's work, including among the Board itself, which aims to have a male: female ratio of at least 60/40.

GAVI is funded by the following governments, as well as private, corporate and foundation donors: Absolute Return for Kids (ARK), Anglo American plc, Australia, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Brazil, Canada, The Children's Investment Fund Foundation (UK), Comic Relief, Denmark, European Commission (EC), France, Germany, His Highness Sheikh Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Ireland, Italy, JP Morgan, Japan, 'la Caixa' Foundation, LDS Charities, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Other private donors, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom, United States of America.

Click to view the full donor list.

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