Following the devastating typhoon that hit the Philippines last year, The Prince of Wales has organised a donation that will bring about mass vaccination for the victims of the storm. This will be achieved by delivering five million doses of measles and rubella vaccines to the country.
Typhoon Haiyan, known locally as Typhoon Yolanda, was a deadly cyclone that struck parts of South-East Asia in November 2013. As a result of the displacement of people and the mass migration that ensued, the malaria virus began to spread throughout the country, affecting more than 15,000 people in the first ten weeks of 2014; three times the total number of cases last year.
Prince Charles, along with the Duchess of Cornwall, was in India at the time of the natural disaster. Upon hearing the news, he visited the Serum Institute in Pune, the world’s largest manufacturer of the measles vaccine, to discuss the donation of the vaccines.
A Clarence House spokesperson has said: “After being informed of the offer of a donation by the Serum Institute of India to a cause of his choosing, The Prince was pleased to charge his charities, International Health Partners and the British Asian Trust, to ensure the donation would be part of the ongoing international response to Typhoon Yolanda.”
Prince Charles has arranged for the vaccines to be donated through his charity, International Health Partners, an organisation which helps developing nations gain better access to medicines and health care. On Wednesday, the IHP signed an agreement with the Philippine government on a wider immunisation programme across the country, which is set to begin in September 2014. The programme will mainly target children below the age of five, who are most at risk from measles.
The President of the IHP, Anthony Dunnett, noted that: “The pressing need to deliver a measles vaccination programme in the Philippines demonstrates the ongoing impact of Typhoon Yolanda. We are extremely grateful to our patron, His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales, for enabling this important donation.”