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Singer-songwriter Lenny Kravitz teams up with UNICEF to end preventable child deaths

NEW YORK, 6 May 2013 - Lenny Kravitz – GRAMMY award-winning singer-songwriter, record producer and actor – is urging people to join UNICEF to bring about an end to preventable child deaths. As many as 1.5 million children die every year from vaccine-preventable diseases.

“It’s every parent’s worst nightmare – an extremely ill child,” said Kravitz. “UNICEF’s goal is to make sure that 100 per cent of children are immunized against preventable diseases. Failing to reach every last child is unacceptable, especially when the cost of a vaccine is so little.”

Kravitz took time from recording his new album to film Public Service Announcements (PSAs) around the importance of reaching every child with life-saving immunizations (Read full text). It comes nearly one year after he lent his support to UNICEF’s efforts to save and improve the lives of millions of children by providing them with access to clean water and adequate sanitation. In addition to the PSAs, Kravitz will use his social media platforms to share UNICEF’s call for 100 per cent immunization.

Despite immunization remaining one of the most successful and cost-effective public health interventions—a lifesaving immunization against measles costs less than one dollar— nearly 20 per cent of the world’s children are still not immunized.

Children in remote areas and in impoverished communities are more likely to not be immunized against killer diseases. This effectively leaves these children unprotected against disability and death. Often times, immunization is a gateway to a healthier life for children of poor and isolated communities. Mass immunization campaigns allow for poor and isolated communities to receive other vital health services like insecticide-treated bed nets and nutritional supplements.

“As the largest procurer of vaccines, UNICEF helps immunize more than one third of the world’s children,” said Jos Vandelaer, Chief of Immunization for UNICEF. “UNICEF is well positioned to deliver vaccinations to every last child, which is very important if we are ever to reach a day where 100 per cent of children are fully immunized.”

Vaccines are responsible for eradicating smallpox and for preventing an estimated two to three million deaths each year from diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough measles and polio. Fifty years ago, this disease was once one of the most feared diseases in the world. Anyone not immunized against the disease can contract polio, but children under five years of age are especially vulnerable. Timely immunization with today’s safe and effective oral vaccines is the most effective way to prevent infection. As a result, polio is now endemic in only three countries: Afghanistan, Pakistan and Nigeria.

Text of the video

Take a minute to think of all the opportunities you’ve had in life.
Everything you’ve had as a child.
Think of everything you want for your children.
Then, think of the millions of children who are born into desperate conditions.
Children who aren’t given the chance to lead a healthy life because they haven’t been vaccinated.
Simple vaccines that we take for granted could save them from deadly diseases.
Four out of every five children are immunized.
But one of five is still left behind.
This fifth child is the most vulnerable, and the least likely to survive and reach their full potential…the one that needs us the most.
With UNICEF’s help, we can reach every last child and give the same start to life as we give our own children.
It’s their right.  It’s our responsibility – it’s a promise for children.

Attention broadcasters:

Lenny Kravitz PSA Immunization Take a Minute: http://youtu.be/tN-izKOsdGI
Lenny Kravitz polio PSA: http://youtu.be/PNz3pKI0Tro
Lenny Kravitz PSA fundraising immunization: http://youtu.be/QfQTFEhSraI

About UNICEF

UNICEF works in more than 190 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence. The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS. UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments. For more information about UNICEF and its work visit: www.unicef.org

In June 2012, the Governments of Ethiopia, India and the United States with UNICEF launched a global roadmap to end preventable deaths of children under the age of five. Since then, under the banner of Committing to Child Survival: A Promise Renewed, more than 170 countries have signed up and renewed their commitment to child survival.

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For more information, please contact:

Marissa Buckanoff, UNICEF New York, Tel: +1 (212) 326 7513, mbuckanoff@unicef.org


 

 

 

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