Measles is one of the most contagious yet easily prevented diseases in the world. It is still very much a deadly threat to people in areas that lack access to vaccinations. In 2000, before the measles initiative was formed, more than 562,000 children died each year due to measles complications. Between 2000 and 2013 increased access to vaccinations reduced measles deaths by 75% worldwide. The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates more than 145,000 deaths a year still occur due to measles.
In 2014 Lions initiated the campaign – One Shot, One Life – working with the UN and other International Aid organisations to immunise children against Measles, particularly in the Third World. To be successful the immunisation program must be as near 100% in the community as is humanly possible and this is where Lions on the ground play a huge role by organising communication and mobilising people to get their children immunized.
Lions Clubs International Foundation (LCIF) had a four year target to raise $30 million which was being matched by Gavi and the Gates Foundation. The program had a simple theme – one dollar contributed provided one inoculation and so the slogan –‘One Shot, One Life’.
Within our District we had a target of €100/£80 per Club for each of 4 years. Some Clubs contributed more. If maintained it would have seen our District contributing approximately $50,000 to the campaign. The Gavi/Gates contribution means that figure is doubled, meaning the potential to immunise 100,000 children, or almost 1,000 children per Club.
As Lions approach the end of 2017, there is a shortfall in the $30 million target, which needs support from Lions globally.
To date, the One Shot-One Life program has seen almost 88 million children immunized in Africa and Asia, from Sierra Leone to Bangladesh and it is estimated that 61,000 deaths have been averted.
- More than 300 people die each day from measles
- Most measles deaths occur in unvaccinated children under the age of five
- 30% of survivors experience complications
- When one person has measles, 90% of those they come into contact with will become infected, if they have not been vaccinated or have not previously contracted the disease
- For $1, a child can be vaccinated against measles