Armenians in Detroit Donate to MACVF to Secure Life-Saving Vaccines for Armenia’s Children

More than $14,000 raised for the Newly Launched Capital Fund

SAN DIEGO, May 13, 2002 – Armenians in the Detroit area gathered at the home of Jill and Michael Dolik on the afternoon of May 5th in a very strong show of support for the Millennium Armenian Children’s Vaccine Fund (MACVF). More than 60 individuals from a broad cross section of the Detroit Armenian-American community attended this event to hear Raffy Ardhaldjian, Chief Volunteer Officer of the Ani & Narod Memorial Foundation, present a detailed outline of the MCAVF program and how it will sustain vaccine financing to Armenia’s children each year. Following the talk and a frank and friendly discussion, an enticing Armenian buffet was served featuring cheese pie, itch, lahmajoon, media stuffing, and many other delicious Armenian appetizers.

This benefit, one of several planned around the country, raised more than $14,000 for the newly launched MACVF capital fund to purchase life-saving vaccines for children in Armenia. “We have a responsibility to make sure every child in Armenia is guaranteed their basic right to be immunized against preventable diseases,” noted Jill and Michael Dolik, one of the couples who generously hosted the fundraiser. “The MACVF is an excellent solution for ending Armenia’s vulnerability to vaccine shortages.” Also coordinating and hosting the event were Karen and Michael Hagopian and Joy and Roy Callan.

With more than 37,000 newborn children needing routine vaccinations every year, Armenia currently imports all its vaccines and is fully dependent on foreign aid to finance its immunization needs. In 1999, the Ani & Narod Memorial Foundation (ANMF) established the Millennium Armenian Children’s Vaccine Fund, a board designated public-private capital fund, to raise the $1.4 million needed to ensure a steady stream of income to finance Armenia’s vaccine costs for the next 15 years and beyond.

In the first phase, the MACVF is working with Armenia’s Ministry of Health, UNICEF, the World Health Organization, the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, and planning to develop a comprehensive plan to introduce a combination vaccine against measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) into Armenia in 2002.

The long-term goal of the MACVF is to help Armenia’s national immunization program become self-reliant in the financing and procurement of vaccines. Experts have acknowledged that unlike other countries in similar predicaments, Armenia has the know-how and a vaccine-delivery system that compares favorably with Western countries, yet suffers from a lack of sustained vaccine supplies. With sustained supplies, Armenia can be expected to achieve immunization coverage of 90 percent or better.

“Improving child survival in Armenia is a goal that is achievable and sustainable for many generations to come,” explained Raffy Ardhaldjian. “We greatly appreciate the valuable donations by our friends in the greater Detroit area whose generosity will go a long way toward building a healthy future for Armenia’s children.”

For more information about the Millennium Armenian Children’s Vaccine Fund, or to find out how you can support this initiative, email ANMF@aol.com.


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