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Follieri Foundation to Announce Major Hepatitis a Immunization Program for Honduran Children

Raffaello Follieri and Actress Anne Hathaway to Kick-Off Of Two-Year Honduran Humanitarian Program with Honduras' Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the UN and Honduras' General Consul at June 22nd Press Conference, Omni Berkshire Hotel, NYC


Contact: Toni Aluisi, Carmen Group Inc., 202-785-0500 ext. 160; Chris Singleton,  212-371-4036; both for the Follieri Foundation


NEW YORK, June 21 /Standard Newswire/ -- More than 190,000 Honduran children under five years will be vaccinated against hepatitis A through an immunization program developed and funded by the Follieri Foundation. The effort will be announced at the 52nd & Madison.


Raffaello Follieri, Founder and Chairman of the Follieri Foundation and actress Anne Hathaway will meet with the His Excellency Ivan Romero Martinez, Ambassador and Permanent Representative from Honduras to the United Nations and The Honorable Javier Hernandez, General Consul of Honduras, to announce the start of the Honduran immunization program on June 22, 2007 at the Omni Berkshire Hotel. Ms. Hathaway is a member of the Follieri Foundation's Board of Directors.


As part of its mission to provide health support to some of the world's underserved populations, the Follieri Foundation developed a hepatitis A childhood immunization program that will eventually go to other countries. The Honduran program will provide two inoculations per child over a two-year period in villages throughout the country, totaling more than 380,000 vaccinations.


Originally only 10,000 vaccinations were planned. Through private sector partnerships and contributions the program will be available to all Honduran children. The medical syringes for this program were donated by Terumo Medical Corporation. GlaxoSmithKline is providing the hepatitis A vaccines at a substantial discount.


"Anne and I feel privileged to bring these lifesaving vaccines to the children of Honduras," Follieri said. "Without them, the majority of children would contract hepatitis A, however, we are hopeful that this program will one day mean the near eradication of the disease in Honduras."


The Follieri Foundation is working in partnership with Catholic Relief Services, U.S. Catholic Medical Association, Catholic Medical Mission Board, Caritas and the government of Honduras to implement the immunization program. According to World Health Organization, most Central American children will contract hepatitis A before the age of nine due to substandard living conditions. The comprehensive hepatitis A vaccine program funded by the Follieri Foundation will serve to equip children with the proper immunity to fight this disease.


The Follieri Foundation's vaccination program in Honduras is the second stage of a five-year commitment to fight disease throughout Latin America. In July 2006, the Foundation provided its first inoculations to children in San Marco, Carazo, Nicaragua. The program was conducted in partnership with Ave Maria College of the Americas in San Marcos which provided a foundation for coordinating future international collaboration among government and non- government organizations working to improve the quality of life in developing countries.


For additional information on the Honduran immunization program or for interviews with Raffaello Follieri, contact Toni Aluisi at 202-785-0500 x160 or Chris Singleton at 212-371-4036.