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When a Dollar Makes a Lifesaving Difference

Can a dollar make a difference? For millions of children around the world, it can.

A measles vaccination costs just $1 and provides protection against one of the leading killers of children in developing countries. In fact, it is estimated that more than 450 people, mostly children, die every day around the world from measles.

In 2001, five organizations—the American Red Cross, United Nations Foundation, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, UNICEF and World Health Organization—joined forces to form the Measles Initiative in an effort to reduce the number of deaths from this disease.

The Red Cross and its partners educate families about the dangers of measles and encourage mothers to bring in their children for vaccinations.

Earlier this year, the Measles Initiative reached an incredible milestone. Since 2001, the initiative has helped vaccinate one billion children in more than 60 developing countries, making significant gains in the global effort to stop measles. In fact, measles deaths worldwide fell by 78 percent during this decade, dropping from an estimated 733,000 in 2000 to 164,000 in 2008.

The child pictured here in Kathmandu received his measles vaccination as part of a follow-up campaign to vaccinate four million children in Nepal. To find other ways to support American Red Cross work at home and abroad, visit the Red Cross Holiday Giving Catalog.