World Immunization Week: Close the immunization gap

Photo: Flickr/RIBI Image Library

Poverty is often thought of in purely monetary or income terms, as in being above or below a “poverty line.” However, both the World Bank and UNDP have studied poverty and broadened the conventional definition.

The World Bank’s Poverty Reduction Sourcebook defines the following dimensions of poverty:

  • Lack of opportunity
  • Low capabilities
  • Low level of security
  • [Lack of] empowerment

The UNDP’s Human Development Report (HDR) glossary says, “Human poverty is more than income poverty, more than a lack of what is necessary for material well-being. Human poverty is the denial of choices and opportunities most basic to human development — to lead a long, healthy, creative life and to enjoy a decent standard of living, freedom, dignity, self-esteem and the respect of others.”

That is why today we ask that you join us in an effort to raise awareness of World Immunization Week and it's mission to to prevent millions of deaths by 2020 through more equitable access to existing vaccines for people in all communities. Immunization averts 2 to 3 million deaths annually; however, an additional 1.5 million deaths could be avoided if global vaccination coverage improves. Today, an estimated 18.7 million infants – nearly 1 in 5 children – worldwide are still missing routine immunizations for preventable diseases, such as diphtheria, pertussis and tetanus. With your help we can give the most vulnerable of children a chance to a healthy start to life.

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To learn more about World Immunization Week 2016, visit http://www.who.int/campaigns/immunization-week/2016/en/