Air France has signed a three-year agreement with the American Red Cross to form a partnership helping the U.S.-based agency carry out its Measles Initiative, a five-year program to vaccinate 200 million at-risk children against measles in Africa and eliminate the deadly disease from the African continent.
In addition to the American Red Cross, the United Nations Foundation, UNICEF, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization are leading the effort in this special initiative.
On Dec. 6, Air France flew members of the American Red Cross National Youth Council, including youth who have created and carried out projects to support the Measles Initiative, to Dakar, Senegal. From there, volunteers traveled to Gambia to participate in measles vaccination campaigns throughout the country, and returned to their communities to help advocate for the Measles Initiative and garner support to continue the life-saving vaccinations over the next three years.
As part of the partnership, the agreement between the American Red Cross and Air France will allow members of the airline’s frequent flyer program to donate miles for tickets that will support American Red Cross international programs including the Measles Initiative. Both are working together to develop other initiatives.
So far, the Measles Initiative has vaccinated more than 106 million children in 24 countries saving 104,000 lives. The American Red Cross has a special Web site for this program at http://www.measlesinitiative.org.