In the United States, vaccination for preventable diseases such as polio and measles are readily available and accessible to most people. The same cannot be said for many in countries in other parts of the world. To address this, some organizations have created initiatives focused on lessening the presence and effects of vaccine-preventable diseases:
Rotary has several different initiatives to address disease prevention and treatment. Rotary’s top priority is the eradication of polio through mass vaccination efforts in other parts of the world. Rotary is also committed to promoting maternal and child health. Efforts are aimed at reducing the number of children less than 5 years of age who die from malnutrition, inadequate healthcare and poor sanitation.
The Red Cross
In 2001, the Red Cross launched its Measles & Rubella Initiative to help control the spread of measles and reduce deaths caused by the disease. Since then, more than 1 billion children in over 80 countries have been vaccinated. The Measles & Rubella Initiative provides both technical and financial support to governments and communities conducting mass vaccination campaigns, improving routine immunization services, and establishing effective disease surveillance.
Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is involved with numerous initiatives targeted at a variety of healthcare issues. The foundation sponsors delivery of vaccines to prevent infectious diseases, including HIV, polio, rotavirus and malaria. It also supports the development of programs aimed at family planning, nutrition and maternal/child health.