Education Above All, Gavi join forces to deliver progress on Sustainable Development Goals

Education Above All Foundation (EAA) and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, have today announced a new partnership to improve children’s health through community outreach and advocacy for immunisation in countries in Africa and Asia.

“Education plays a crucial role in raising awareness of health challenges and shaping the attitudes and behaviours that can make a difference, “ said Dr Seth Berkley, CEO of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance. “We look forward to working closely with Education Above All Foundation to strengthen our immunisation efforts in Gavi-supported countries.”

The Education Above All (EAA) partners and Gavi will identify communities with out-of-school children and where low levels of vaccination have been recorded. EAA partners and Gavi will then develop a joint community outreach strategy to improve rates of immunisation. The partnership is an important means by which the organisations can show their significant contribution towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, Founder and Chairperson of Education Above All Foundation and member of the United Nations SDG Advocates, believes a collaborative approach to development is crucial. “Together, Education Above All and Gavi will work to improve health and wellbeing in some of the world’s most deprived communities,” she said. “This is just one example of the role education can play as a driver for human development, showing that increased access to quality education can support the achievement of wider development aims”.

This partnership is the first of its kind for Gavi and EAA to target both SDG 3, which aims to ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all, and SDG 4, which aims to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education. It is also a showcase for SDG 17, to revitalise the global partnership for sustainable development.

During a meeting with her Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser in Doha, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, chair of the Gavi Board underlined that “overwhelming evidence demonstrates the benefits of immunisation as one of the most successful and cost-effective public health interventions. Minimising the burden of illness through immunisation will positively affect a child’s ability to attend school and attain high education levels.”

Vaccines are protecting more children than ever before, but millions of the poorest and most vulnerable children still miss out on the basic vaccines they need to stay healthy. In 2015, around 19 million children around the world did not receive a full course of basic vaccines.

Many of these children are unable to attend school, are not enrolled or have dropped out of the education system.

This partnership represents a significant breakthrough in supporting vulnerable and marginalised children to better access the life-saving vaccines they need, as well as increasing access and equity in education.

It was announced during the third edition of the World Innovation Summit for Health – an initiative of the Qatar Foundation that brings together over 1,000 global healthcare experts and leaders to tackle pressing healthcare challenges.

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