Armenian Reporter: Ani & Narod Foundation Aids Armenia Immunization Program

Child Getting Vaccination ShotLos Angeles – The Millennium Armenian Children’s Vaccine Fund (MACVF) announced October 21 that it will be co-financing the distribution of the Pentavalent Vaccine with the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Armenia.

This five year program is part of a major financing arrangement led by Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI) around the world and will commence in Armenia in 2011.

“At a time when the global economic crisis has pushed over 100 million people back into poverty, we feel that immunization remains a crucial safety net program for mothers and children in Armenia. These investments are not just a temporary relief, but are investments in long term human capital for Armenia. Every child that one day will form the future of Armenian society will be affected by this program,” says Raffy Ardhaldjian, Chief Volunteer Officer of The Ani & Narod Memorial Foundation (ANMF).

“Once again, we are delighted to assist the Ministry of Health of Armenia in making history, raising the standards of health in Armenia, and partnering with them in the introduction of the Pentavalent vaccine to complement GAVI’s efforts.”

According to GAVI, the Pentavalent Vaccine protects against diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, hepatitis B, and Haemophilus influenza type b (Hib). The World Health Organization (WHO), accounts that HiB disease, primarily pneumonia and meningitis in young children is a significant public health concern in many parts of the world where large scale HiB immunization has not yet been implemented.

In order to fight the potential deadly effects of Hib and the four other potential killers, and considering the proven efficacy and effectiveness of the Pentavalent vaccine, GAVI will be offering WHO’s recommended five-in-one vaccine composition to the Ministry of Health of Armenia (MoH). With the financial support of GAVI and a co-financing involvement of MACVF and the Government of Armenia, the MoH will distribute the Pentavalent vaccine through its routine National Immunization Program (NIP).

“With only one visit to the polyclinic, children will be able to receive five vaccines in one application thus reducing the psychological fear and pain factor that children associate with vaccination,” says Gayane Sahakyan, Manager of the NIP of Armenia and State Hygiene and Anti-Epidemic Inspectorate.

“This is a logical and beneficial addition to our NIP and we are very pleased that, once again, MACVF is lending its financial support to our programs.”

MACVF’s past contributions include a joint effort with UNICEF, the MoH, and the Rostropovich Foundation, to eliminate measles, mumps, and congenital rubella. This effort included a mass immunization campaign of approximately 924,000 individuals. Additionally MACVF was instrumental in its long lasting support to the MoH by financing routine, life-saving immunization vaccines which has enabled the immunization of thousands of children in Armenia since the inception of the program.

MACVF has been and continues to be vital in introducing life-saving vaccines for the NIP’s regular vaccination programs. Adding the Pentavalent vaccine to the NIP, will compliment Armenia’s public health achievements since independence and be part of GAVI’s global effort to prevent 1 million deaths until the year 2015.

Millennium Armenian Children’s Vaccine Fund (MACVF) is one of the primary programs of the Ani & Narod Memorial Foundation. Established in 1994, ANMF is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, tax-exempt US organization encouraging the welfare and development of Armenian women and children through innovative cultural, educational, health and social programs.

MACVF is a public-private capital fund incubated around the year 2000 in partnership with international agencies including UNICEF, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and various constituents of the Armenian Diaspora, to ensure a steady stream of income to finance vaccines for Armenia’s NIP. ANMF was established in 1994 in loving memory of Ani and Narod Ardhaldjian (visit www.ani.org).

The GAVI Alliance is a public- private partnership focused on saving children’s lives and protecting people’s health by increasing access to immunization in poor countries.

The National Immunization Program of Armenia is carried out by the Communicable Diseases, State Hygiene and Anti-Epidemic Inspectorate of the Ministry of Health. NIP unites and coordinates institutions, resources, and activities, which promote the reduction of morbidity, disability, and mortality as a result of manageable infections. This large- scale program is also responsible for the procurement and distribution of vaccines to polyclinics and health institutions throughout the country. According to the WHO, the NIP of the MoH of Armenia has retained high coverage rates for its vaccination programs.

Source: Armenian Reporter


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