I am a volunteer with RESULTS Oak Park. We are advocates for poverty alleviation both at home and abroad. The current ebola outbreak has run rampant in Africa, largely because of a lack of functioning health care delivery systems and staff in the affected countries. 

We could be much better prepared for the next outbreak of such a disease and address a much larger silent crisis. One in five children globally are not fully vaccinated against even more easily transmittable diseases that kill millions. We can save 5 million children’s lives so easily: pneumonia and diarrhea kill more kids every year than AIDS, TB and malaria combined. 

With proven, affordable childhood vaccines, we can help put a stop to this. GAVI, the Global Alliance that has helped save 6 million children’s lives globally thus far, is a highly effective and efficient partnership, and we should step up and give them our full share of support, $1 billion over the next four years. 

GAVI’S work would necessitate the building of much-needed health care delivery systems and help contain the rampage of the “next ebola.” Global immunization is a “best buy” in saving lives and enjoys bipartisan support. 

Our world is much smaller today and diseases travel fast, so it is in our self-interest to help — if saving 5 million children’s lives is not motivation enough! 

Julia Ryan 

Oak Park 

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