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Health News Fri, 9 Mar 2007

Pneumonia vaccines on pilot basis

Accra, March 9, GNA - A commitment to subsidise future purchase of vaccines is being worked out to prevent deaths in developing countries. Called the Advanced Market Commitment (AMC) it has been designed for pneumococcal vaccines on pilot basis to demonstrate its feasibility and impact on accelerating vaccine development, production scale-up and introduction to prevent unnecessary pneumococcal deaths in developing countries.


The AMC for pneumococcal, when established, will support industries and government efforts in the fight against pneumococcal in children and enable stakeholders to assess its impact and determine if AMC would be able to accelerate other health priorities such as vaccines for malaria. Speaking in an interview with the Ghana News Agency, Mr Dan Osman, Public Relation Officer of the Ministry of Health, said AMC was launched in Rome, Italy, in February at a ceremony attended by Health and Finance Ministers of Jordan, Canada, Malawi, Britain and the World Bank. Ghana's Health Minister, Major Courage Quashigah (Rtd), a member of the Global Vaccine project Initiative (GAVI), represented the developing countries at the launch.


An AMC is not a purchase agreement, as industry would only receive the subsidised price of the product meets targeted standards and countries demand the product.


An AMC therefore is a results-based and market-driven mechanism that seeks to address the problem by accelerating the introduction of appropriate vaccines in impoverished countries.

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Mr Osman explained that the governments of Italy, United Kingdom and Canada had signalled to move the pilot base of the AMC forward and were engaging other governments to support the initiative. "The recommended donor support to the AMC is 1.5 billion dollars in nominal terms and the first payments are anticipated to begin in 2010 and that will last for nine to 10 years," he said.


He said if this were achieved, in the long term, AMC would prevent 500,000 to 700,000 deaths and roughly 5.4 million deaths by 2030. "In the absence of an AMC or other financial effort, there would be only limited access to pneumococcal vaccines in the world's poorest countries before 2023."


Mr Osman said the Minister on behalf of the developing countries commended the initiative and said the AMC pilot for pneumococcal diseases had a goal of providing a vaccine against one of the leading causes of childhood deaths, pneumonia, which kills one million children worldwide each year.


Major Quashigah, he said, called for intensified efforts to provide support for the vaccines and health care for those in the developing countries who currently lacked access since the children the vaccines would save today would grow to form a critical mass of the human capital. 9 March 07

Source: GNA