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Gates Foundation sponsors arts campaign to promote vaccination

Social media will play a role in raising awareness for the project
Alexia Sinclair Edward Jenner's Smallpox Discovery

Alexia Sinclair's depiction of Edward Jenner's Smallpox Discovery is part of the campaign

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has commissioned a series of artworks by more than 30 artists as part of a campaign to promote vaccination.

The works are part of 'The Art of Saving a Life' campaign and consist of numerous pieces representing and stressing the importance of vaccines, such as a short story by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie reflecting on Nigeria in 1985, when a new health minister introduced free services for mothers and children.

Brazilian artist Vik Muniz also created a piece named 'Flowers – The Beauty of Vaccines', which appears to be colourful flowers but upon closer inspection, represent liver cells infected with the smallpox vaccine virus.

Vik Muniz Flowers - The Beauty of Vaccines 

Vik Muniz Flowers - The Beauty of Vaccines

The intention of the campaign is to promote vaccination in an international effort to raise money to vaccinate millions of people against deadly diseases, particularly in poorer nations.

Dr Christopher Elias, president of the global development programme at the Gate Foundation, told the New York Times: “We want to get the buzz and the conversation going because it's easy to take these important lifesaving tools for granted.”

David Chancellor Nelson Mandela's Legacy for Children's Health

David Chancellor - Nelson Mandela's legacy for children's health

The campaign, which was launched online on January 7, is the first time the Foundation has commissioned artists to promote a supported cause. The aim is for the images to be shared online via social media with the hashtag #VaccinesWork in order to encourage donations and discussion about the issue.

The project is timed to coincide with the upcoming meeting of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, an international public-private partnership in Berlin, which aims to raise $7.5bn to fund Gavi's next phase of vaccine development.

Article by
Kirstie Pickering

9th January 2015

From: Marketing, Healthcare

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