Immunisation

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Treasury – in the House of Commons at 10:30 am on 29th March 2007.

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Photo of Gordon Brown Gordon Brown The Chancellor of the Exchequer 10:30 am, 29th March 2007

I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman for raising that, and I will endeavour to put the issue on the agenda. One of the great problems of health care in Africa and the developing countries is not simply the absence of medicines or of doctors and nurses, but the absence of health care systems with the capacity to deliver what is available, even when it is available. I am pleased that the international facility that we have created and the GAVI Alliance are now taking seriously the next stage, which is to try to build capacity in health care systems. If the hon. Gentleman goes around Africa, he will find that the number of midwives in many countries runs only into hundreds and the number of nurses in many countries is lucky if it runs into thousands. That is an issue of health care capacity that we must address, as we address, too, the supply of particular drugs.