The New Times (Kigali)

Rwanda: The Emerging World's Vaccine Pioneers

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The Gates Foundation supported a major partnership between the Serum Institute of India and SynCo Bio Partners, a Dutch vaccine producer, to produce a low-cost vaccine to protect more than 450 million people in Africa from meningitis.

This year, Biological E announced two major partnerships with multinational vaccine manufacturers. A joint partnership with GlaxoSmithKline will produce a six-in-one vaccine protecting children against polio and other infectious diseases; another, with Novartis, will produce two vaccines that will protect millions of people in the developing world from typhoid and paratyphoid fevers.

Despite all of this progress, more must be done to target the 22 million children, mainly in the poorest countries, who do not have access to lifesaving vaccines. Without protection against deadly diseases like measles, pneumonia, and rotavirus, many of these children are being denied a chance to grow up healthy, attend school, and lead productive lives. Their countries lose, too. Disease robs a poor country of the energy and talents of its people, raises treatment costs, and stymies economic growth.

We live in a world where we have the power to correct this injustice. We have the knowhow to produce effective vaccines, make them affordable, and deliver them to the children who need them.

Emerging-country vaccine suppliers are a critical part of this process. Thanks to their contributions, we are moving closer to the day when all children can have a healthy start to life.

Bill Gates is Co-Chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Copyright: Project Syndicate

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