In the early 1980s, 14 million children (below age 5) died each year. That meant that 40.000 children died every day, most of them from illnesses that are easily prevented.
300 million children were undernourished. 1 billion people lacked clean water. One fourth of the world’s children had never been to any school, 60% of them, girls. There was a need for a quantum leap!
A Bold Goal Brings Global Change
A bold goal was set; to increase the percentage of children vaccinated against the most common childhood diseases from only 20% to 80% of all children by 1990. Low income countries had to vaccinate 500 million children and thereafter 100 million newly born every year even in the poorest, most remote areas with no existing health services and infrastructure. Most people are not aware of the groundbreaking, heroic achievements made during these years. Health systems were developed, starting with vaccination stands and evolving into permanent local health centers.
After 5 years, in 1985, 40% of all children were vaccinated. In 1990 70% of all children were vaccinated and, in 1995, 80%. By 2010 85%, of children, boys and girls alike, were vaccinated around the world. With that the death of more than 3 million children a year was prevented!
The Groundwork for Global Economic Change
Such achievements laid the ground for the social and economic advances we see today. Let’s learn from experience gained and take this farther using the new possibilities we have available through social media, creating partnerships within and between the expanding business community, governments and citizens.
The vaccine against polio was also included in this massive worldwide movement. There were 400.000 new cases of polio a year in 1990. In 1995 that was brought down to 100.000 and in 2010 there were only 612 new cases of polio in the world!
3 million children, who otherwise would have contracted polio, can walk and do not even know they were saved from this terrible disease.
Girls, who had always been disadvantaged, benefited the most. This and other factors resulted in a 15-20 years increase in average life expectancy for women since 1970.