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Give Every Child a Future

Rotary will Give Every Child in the Pacific a Future by reducing child mortality and cervical cancer

Compassion

We don’t fear diarrhoea, meningitis or pneumonia. Sadly, this is not the case in the Pacific Islands.

Every year hundreds of children under the age of 5 die from these three preventable diseases.

In August 2019, a person infected with Measles flew from Auckland to Samoa sparking a measles outbreak that lasted 4 months and killed approximately 80 people, mainly young children. With your support, it doesn’t have to be this way.

Help us prevent this from happening again.

Unfortunately, the challenge doesn’t end there:

Three times as many women die from cervical cancer in the Pacific islands than in Australia or New Zealand.

Cervical (and other) cancers are caused by human papillomavirus (HPV). In the Pacific Islands, women play vital roles as carers, food providers, craft producers, decision-makers and transmitters of traditional knowledge.

Yet, in these same countries with erratic cervical screening programmes and minimal treatment options, cervical cancer causes a disproportionate number of premature deaths in women.

Rotary believes this is a tragedy that just shouldn’t happen in modern times.

We can prevent this too.

Our Aim

With your help and the support of the Aussie Peace Walk, in 3-4 years, Rotary will significantly reduce child mortality and go a long way toward eliminating cervical cancer in the Pacific.

We already do this in Australia and New Zealand, so why not the Pacific?

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Prevention of cervical cancer

Australian researchers at the University of Queensland developed the world’s first vaccine against HPV. And in 2006 the Australian government took the initiative and rolled out a national vaccination program for school girls.

Five years after the program started, HPV infections of the types that are included in the vaccine decreased by 77% in 18–24-year-olds.

The national vaccination program was so effective that in 2013, the Australian government extended the program to include teenage boys.

Current HPV vaccines protect against 70% of cervical cancers, 90% of genital warts, 70% of vaginal cancer cases and up to 50% of vulva cancer cases.

Today, over 200 million doses have been distributed across 130 countries.

Saving lives for generations

This project will fund the introduction of the vaccines into each country with commitments from the respective governments to continue the programs when Rotary funding finishes.

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Rotary is partnering with UNICEF to deliver the ‘Give Every Child A Future’ as a three-year project to introduce three new vaccines into the national immunisation programs of nine Pacific Island Countries.

The project will cost $4.5 million, that’s $45/child. So every $45 raised can save a life. 

Humanity

The Rotary Give Every Child a Future project will immunise 100,000 children in nine countries.

Rotary will fully fund the programme in the Cook Islands, Niue and Tokelau, Kiribati and Nauru; and support program delivery in Samoa, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu, where the Asian Development Bank is assisting these Governments with the same range of vaccinations.

Why these nine countries?

The ‘poorest’ nations in the Pacific qualify for Global Vaccine Alliance funding to help introduce these vaccines while the governments of the ‘richer’ Pacific nations can fund these vaccines themselves. UNICEF has identified these nine countries as falling into the funding gap between ‘poor’ and ‘rich’.

The Vaccines

Human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine will protect against most forms of cervical cancer. This will be given to 9-12-year-old girls. The elimination of almost all cervical cancer from these communities will have a major positive impact on families, particularly as the women are very often the lynch-pin in their families and their communities

Rotavirus vaccine protects against rotavirus infection which is a major cause of diarrhoea and dehydration causing death and hospitalisation in children under five

Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV) will protect against pneumococcal disease which can result in pneumonia, meningitis and other life-threatening problems.

Rotavirus and PCV are given to babies in their first six months of life along with the more well-known vaccines for whooping cough, diphtheria, tetanus and, of course, polio.

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Vaccines that protect against rotavirus, pneumococcal disease and human papillomavirus can prevent these deaths (HPV).

While children in Australia have had access to these vaccines for many years, some Pacific Island Countries cannot afford to introduce them to their populations. 

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