The UN estimates that pneumonia accounted for 18 per cent of child mortality, and that four countries, including Pakistan, accounted for more than half the cases across the globe.“As the first country in South Asia to introduce the pneumococcal vaccine, Pakistan’s commitment to immunizing all children against vaccine preventable diseases is to be applauded,” said Dan Rohrmann, Pakistan Country Representative for the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF).“We are proud to partner with the Government of Pakistan in its efforts to inoculate millions of children against a disease that continues to take too many lives,” he stated.In 2011, more than 352,000 children in Pakistan died before reaching their fifth birthday and almost one in five of these deaths were due to pneumonia, according to a joint press release issued by UN agencies and the Pakistani Government. While the new pneumococcal vaccines cannot prevent every case of pneumonia, they do prevent a significant proportion of cases and therefore have the potential to save tens of thousands of lives from preventable sickness and death, they added.The pneumococcal vaccine is available in Pakistan thanks to the Advance Market Commitment (AMC) of the GAVI Alliance, a public-private partnership that includes UNICEF, the World Health Organization (WHO) and civil society, among others. Since its establishment in 2000, the GAVI Alliance has financed the immunization of more than 325 million children and prevented more than five million premature deaths. The AMC provides incentives for manufacturers to produce large quantities of pneumococcal vaccine that can then reach developing countries much earlier than they could have previously. “Today’s historic introduction of pneumococcal vaccine underlines our commitment to the children of Pakistan,” said Helen Evans, deputy CEO of the GAVI Alliance. “Through our partners on the ground and working with the Government of Pakistan, we aim to reach millions of children with this life-saving pneumococcal vaccine.The WHO Representative in Pakistan, Guido Sabatinelli, called the launch an “important milestone” in the fight to reduce infant and child mortality in the country. “We look forward to working in partnership with the Government of Pakistan, UNICEF and the GAVI Alliance to deliver this life-saving vaccine to Pakistan’s children,” he stated. “We also hope that procurement procedures can be streamlined and be made more efficient so that life-saving vaccines make their way to the communities that need it most.”
“We recognise that historic objects can raise complex discussions about the past, yet our role today is to work to continue to provide a transparent, legitimate marketplace upholding the highest standards for the transfer of objects.”There is an honourable market for ancient art and we believe it is in the public interest that works come out into the open with the opportunity for them to be researched, as well as seen and enjoyed by global audiences.”Former antiquities minister Zahi Hawass previously told AFP that the bust could have been taken from Karnak Temple during the 1970s.Christie’s firmly objected to the claims, and said it had gone through all necessary processes to be sure of its origins.A spokesman for the auction house said: “The object is not, and has not been, the subject of an investigation, nor has it been previously flagged as an object of concern, despite being well known and exhibited publicly.”Christie’s would not and do not sell any work where there isn’t clear title of ownership and a thorough understanding of modern provenance.”The price of the item rose rapidly from a starting bid of £3 million to the £4.7 million it was sold for during the brief bidding process. The 3,000-year-old stone bust of TutankhamunCredit:AFP Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. A rare bust of Tutankhamun has been sold for £4.7 million at an “honourable” auction following controversy over its origins.The item depicting the boy king as the god Amen was alleged by Egyptian experts to have been “stolen” from its homeland.The Egyptian Foreign Ministry had demanded that the auction house provide documents proving the statue’s ownership and said Egypt holds rights to the piece based on its current and previous laws.Auction house Christie’s defended its decision to press on with the sale of the ancient artefact and said that the statue had never been subject to previous investigations or allegations about its origins.The quartzite bust was sold for £4.7 million after a rapid bidding process.A spokesman for the auction house said: “This was a rare, beautiful and important work.