Immunising children is one of public health’s best buys. Vaccines are cost-effective, offer lifelong protection and are fundamental to development.

Vaccines are one of the most successful and cost-effective health investments in history.

In a world where 380 children die every day from a preventable disease like measles, simple vaccines can save millions of lives. And they ensure that healthy people stay healthy.

At the moment over 19 million of the world's poorest children do not receive basic life-saving vaccines and as a result, approximately 1.7 million children die each year from vaccine-preventable diseases like measles, polio, tetanus and diphtheria.

“Vaccines are one of the best long-term investments to prevent disease and give children a healthy start in life” - Bill Gates

Merlin is working to change this sad reality.

By 2015, our plan is to vaccinate over one million children under 12-months old against preventable childhood diseases.

And with your support we’re on our way to achieving just that: in the first three months of 2012 we have already vaccinated over 80,000 children in some of the toughest places in the world.

The latest UN Human Development Index ranks the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) as the least developed country in the world. The number of deaths of children under one year old in a given year per 1,000 live births in the DRC is 79 while in the UK it is five.

In 2012 Merlin’s health workers have already vaccinated over 22,000 children under the age of one in the DRC – giving them the chance to grow, develop and survive. It costs only £1 to vaccinate a child against preventable diseases. There's still a lot of work to be done, but with your help, we can help protect thousands of children.