The UN is rolling out an action plan aimed at saving the lives of 10 million women and children over the next five years, and vaccines are a central theme of the effort. The plan has the backing of Bill and Melinda Gates, who committed $1.5 billion of their foundation's fortune to help make it work.
One of the core strategies that the UN will use is increased use of the pneumococcal, rotavirus and Haemophilus influenzae type b vaccines--an approach that the group believes can prevent the deaths of one and a half million children in just a few years.
"The solutions that save the lives of women and children are well-known and cost-effective," said Flavia Bustreo, MD, director of The Partnership for Maternal, Newborn & Child Health.
"This is a government issue and it is going to take large-scale government funding to make it work," said Melinda Gates. "The reason why I think this could work is this is one area where we do have solutions," she added to Reuters. "We do know what works. Some of it has proven to be quite successful."