GAVI Alliance_UN Foundation_speech

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RI CEO and General Secretary John Hewko speech – 14 June 2012
Child Survival Call to Action -- GAVI Alliance and UN Foundation Shot@Life
Value of Partnerships for Life-saving Vaccines
Washington, DC

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GAVI Alliance_UN Foundation_speech

  1. 1. RI CEO and General Secretary John Hewko speech – 14 June 2012Child Survival Call to Action -- GAVI Alliance and UN Foundation Shot@LifeValue of Partnerships for Life-saving VaccinesWashington, DCThank you very much. It is my honor and privilege tobe here this evening to represent the 1.2 million menand women of Rotary -- and our 34,000 Rotary clubsworldwide.And I must say that the theme of tonight’s program --the Value of Partnerships for Life-Saving Vaccines --is especially appropriate for what I want to speakabout.Rotary and polio eradication.1|Page
  2. 2. RI CEO and General Secretary John Hewko speech – 14 June 2012Child Survival Call to Action -- GAVI Alliance and UN Foundation Shot@LifeValue of Partnerships for Life-saving VaccinesWashington, DCIn fact, an appropriate sub-title for a book onRotary’s fight to end polio could be, The Value of APartnership for Life-Saving Vaccines, because that’sexactly what it our effort is all about.As many of you are aware, Rotary is the originalprivate sector partner in the Global Polio EradicationInitiative, arguably the most ambitious and mostsuccessful public-private partnership in history.Our original partners on the public sector side arethe World Health Organization, UNICEF and the U.S.Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.2|Page
  3. 3. RI CEO and General Secretary John Hewko speech – 14 June 2012Child Survival Call to Action -- GAVI Alliance and UN Foundation Shot@LifeValue of Partnerships for Life-saving VaccinesWashington, DCMore recently, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundationhas joined us. And of course the United NationsFoundation also works closely with us.And what a partnership this initiative has turned outto be.Working together with the world’s governments, wehave succeeded in reducing the incidence ofpoliomyelitis by more than 99 per cent. From350,000 cases a year when the partnership3|Page
  4. 4. RI CEO and General Secretary John Hewko speech – 14 June 2012Child Survival Call to Action -- GAVI Alliance and UN Foundation Shot@LifeValue of Partnerships for Life-saving VaccinesWashington, DClaunched in 1988 -- to fewer than 70 cases so farthis year.And what tool have we used to get to this point? Alife-saving vaccine – the oral polio vaccine.And when I say “life-saving” – I mean it in two ways.Yes, polio does kill a portion of the children it infects,so vaccination does – quite literally -- save lives.But far more often, polio permanently disables andcripples – robbing children of productive lives,especially in developing countries where polio4|Page
  5. 5. RI CEO and General Secretary John Hewko speech – 14 June 2012Child Survival Call to Action -- GAVI Alliance and UN Foundation Shot@LifeValue of Partnerships for Life-saving VaccinesWashington, DCmainly persists today. So in a more figurative sense,the vaccine rescues those lives too.To date, we have reached more than 2.5 BILLIONchildren with the oral polio vaccine, preventing morethan 7 MILLION cases of childhood paralysis.And what is the value we place on this effort -- onthis live-saving vaccine used by this uniquepartnership?5|Page
  6. 6. RI CEO and General Secretary John Hewko speech – 14 June 2012Child Survival Call to Action -- GAVI Alliance and UN Foundation Shot@LifeValue of Partnerships for Life-saving VaccinesWashington, DCIn economic terms, experts tell us polio eradicationwill yield net benefits estimated at 40 to 50 billiondollars over the next two decades.Most of the benefits will accrue in developingcountries, as per capita production goes up andhealth care costs drop.Eradication also will protect the over 9-billion-dollarsthe world has invested in the effort so far. Of thattotal, more than 1 billion dollars has come fromRotary club members around the world – grassroots6|Page
  7. 7. RI CEO and General Secretary John Hewko speech – 14 June 2012Child Survival Call to Action -- GAVI Alliance and UN Foundation Shot@LifeValue of Partnerships for Life-saving VaccinesWashington, DCbusiness and community leaders committed toending polio once and for all.But the real value is not about money. It is aboutchildren and the consequences of what couldhappen if we don’t push ahead and end polio now.Polio is a tenacious disease perfectly capable ofstaging a global resurgence if we let down our guard.As many as 200,000 children a year could beinfected.We cannot let that happen.7|Page
  8. 8. RI CEO and General Secretary John Hewko speech – 14 June 2012Child Survival Call to Action -- GAVI Alliance and UN Foundation Shot@LifeValue of Partnerships for Life-saving VaccinesWashington, DCThat’s the reason that the World Health Assemblylast month declared polio to be “a programmaticemergency for global public health” and the GlobalPolio Eradication Initiative launched its EmergencyAction Plan.It may seem odd to declare an emergency when weare 99 percent toward our goal – but an emergencyis what we truly face if we don’t take advantage ofthe best opportunity we’ve ever had to finish off polioonce and for all.8|Page
  9. 9. RI CEO and General Secretary John Hewko speech – 14 June 2012Child Survival Call to Action -- GAVI Alliance and UN Foundation Shot@LifeValue of Partnerships for Life-saving VaccinesWashington, DCPolio cases are at an all-time low.Only three countries remain on the polio-endemic list:Afghanistan, Nigeria, and Pakistan.India, which only two years was an epicenter of polio,was declared polio-free in February – a hugemilestone.Yet, we face a funding gap of almost $1 billion thatMUST be closed quickly if we are to carry out thepolio vaccination efforts needed to stop transmissionof the wild poliovirus in the endemic and at-riskcountries this year.9|Page
  10. 10. RI CEO and General Secretary John Hewko speech – 14 June 2012Child Survival Call to Action -- GAVI Alliance and UN Foundation Shot@LifeValue of Partnerships for Life-saving VaccinesWashington, DCSo we stand at a tipping point. If we push forward --as we must – we will achieve history by making polioonly the second human disease to be eradicatedsince smallpox in 1979.If we squander this opportunity, one million childrencould be paralyzed within five years. Nounvaccinated child will be safe, anywhere in theworld.So please -- Join us. You and the organizations yourepresent may well possess the talent, expertise,10 | P a g e
  11. 11. RI CEO and General Secretary John Hewko speech – 14 June 2012Child Survival Call to Action -- GAVI Alliance and UN Foundation Shot@LifeValue of Partnerships for Life-saving VaccinesWashington, DCand resources that can help us relegate polio to thehistory books. And help us spread the word. We must END POLIONOW -- while we can -- and before it is too late.Thank you.11 | P a g e
  12. 12. RI CEO and General Secretary John Hewko speech – 14 June 2012Child Survival Call to Action -- GAVI Alliance and UN Foundation Shot@LifeValue of Partnerships for Life-saving VaccinesWashington, DCI know the next guest on the program has a verypersonal perspective on polio eradication. LastSeptember at Rotary International Headquarters inEvanston, Illinois, it was our privilege to host a visitfrom His Excellency Mr. Ghulam Nabi Azad, Ministerof Health and Family Welfare for the Republic ofIndia.We deeply appreciate the very positive commentshe shared about Rotary’s contribution to the fightagainst polio.12 | P a g e
  13. 13. RI CEO and General Secretary John Hewko speech – 14 June 2012Child Survival Call to Action -- GAVI Alliance and UN Foundation Shot@LifeValue of Partnerships for Life-saving VaccinesWashington, DCIn February of this year, Minister Azad again metwith Rotary leaders at the historic Polio Summit inNew Delhi, where we celebrated the wonderful newsthat India -- at long last -- was officially polio free.It could not have happened without the dedicationand commitment of the Indian Government, itspeople – including the 121,000 members of IndianRotary clubs – and especially –His Excellency Mr.Azad.13 | P a g e

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