The Power of Partnerships and the Fight to Reduce Measles Mortality

Statement By Andrew Dunnett, Director Of The Vodafone Group Foundation On The Occassion Of The World Health Assembly Measles Initiaitive Reception

Geneva, Switzerland

May 17, 2007


Megan Rabbitt

“Today we celebrate the groundbreaking work of the Measles Initiative. In just five years, hard work by country governments and the Measles Initiative partners — including the World Health Organization, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the United Nations Foundation, American Red Cross and UNICEF — has reduced measles mortality by 60 percent—an impressive 2.3 million lives saved.

“The stunning success of the Measles Initiative demonstrates the power of partnerships. We are proud to be a part of this amazing effort; but, there is still more work to do. We must now reach a new goal of a 90% reduction in measles deaths by 2010.

“One way to help achieve the new goal for reducing measles deaths is by strengthening disease surveillance capabilities in the field. Through the Measles Initiative and other organizations, we are bringing new “eyes and ears” to international public health efforts by expanding the use of mobile, handheld equipment in Africa. Loaded with new, free health data surveillance software, these devices are allowing health workers to collect information about measles and other health data in the field, and respond to medical emergencies more quickly and efficiently.

“At the Vodafone Group Foundation we strive to identify and nurture new solutions to the world’s most pressing humanitarian challenges. The Measles Initiative campaigns and the health data surveillance efforts are examples of this principle at work.”


The Vodafone Group Foundation was created by Vodafone in 2001 to support charitable and community work by all Vodafone companies and their Foundations, as well as funding selected charitable global initiatives directly. It is a charitable Foundation with its own board of trustees. To date, the Foundations have invested a total of over GBP 60 million in social investments globally.

The UN Foundation was created in 1998 with entrepreneur and philanthropist Ted Turner’s historic $1 billion gift to support UN causes and activities. The UN Foundation builds and implements public-private partnerships to address the world’s most pressing problems, and also works to broaden support for the UN through advocacy and public outreach. The UN Foundation is a public charity. For more information, visit:

Press contact:

Adele Waugaman
United Nations Foundation