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April 29, 2012
THERE has been an unwritten rule that it can take 15 years or longer between the introduction of new life-saving vaccines in rich countries and their widespread use in the poorest nations. That has cost the lives of millions of children.
But national celebrations in Ghana last week to mark the introduction of two new vaccines highlight how this shameful gap is rapidly being closed. It is another exciting chapter in a story of leadership - and partnership - transforming health in the developing world.
We're the lucky country - it's about time we let that luck rub off on others. Australians are stingy. Do you believe it? Well, when it comes to international aid, among the world's 23 richest countries, we come in a lowly 13th when aid is measured as a percentage of our income.
Built on the principle of the fair go, the notion of Australians failing to support the underdog may be difficult for many of us to comprehend. Don't we always dig deep when our mates are in need? Yet today Australia is giving just 35¢ in every $100 we earn as a nation.