The Vax4Vax program is an initiative of Travel Health Plus. A portion of funds from each private vaccination administered onsite in our Fremantle clinic goes directly towards UNICEF’s Champion for Children’ program, a program focused on delivering necessary and life saving vaccinations and healthcare to children living in developing countries.

At Travel Health Plus, we acknowledge that when travelling to less developed countries, we are often in the privileged position of being able to afford preventative health care to minimise the risk of those infectious diseases that are more common at our destination than they are at home.


For those people living in the countries that we are travelling to, basic health care is often not available or unaffordable. For this reason and given our collective experience of travelling extensively we have for many years financially supported Humanitarian Aid organisations in developing countries to help provide basic health care needs. These organisations include UNICEF, MSF (Doctors without Borders) and the Australian Red Cross.

The aim of all these organisations is to provide free, effective, basic health care including vaccinations, safe food, water and shelter to those most in need. Their aim is also to train local health workers to make their work sustainable in the long term. They are independent organisations and are entirely reliant on donor funding.

The following graphs illustrate global vaccination rates for three of the most important vaccine preventable illnesses.

Pneumococcal Disease


The Vax4Vax initiative is based on the very simple idea of making a small contribution to helping out our fellow human beings, those who are the most vulnerable. There are many people who are living without access to clean water and enough food, let alone adequate health care and life saving vaccinations. It is via the Vax4Vax program that we are aiming to help alleviate this global issue and change the fact that one in four children under five years of age die as a result of vaccine preventable diseases. We have the solution. We have the answer. We just need to get it to the people who need it most.

As a Travel Health Plus initiative, a portion of the costs from each private vaccination administered onsite in the Fremantle clinic is given to the Vax4Vax initiative. The Vax4Vax initiative is currently supporting UNICEF Australia Champions™ for Children Program with funds being used to protect children against deadly diseases such as rotavirus, measles or polio. UNICEF™s health programs prevent and protect children against disease as well as encourage positive hygiene and safe drinking water practices within communities.

“There are few things which yield greater benefits for health than vaccinations,” says Vax4Vax founder, Dr David Rutherford. “By reducing the frequency of vaccine preventable illnesses and the resulting complications in developing countries, it is shown to improve lives and reduce poverty in those countries.”

“The whole initiative is about prevention; getting the right vaccinations, medications, and tools to the most at-risk areas,” explains Dr Rutherford.


Formed in 1946, after WW11, The United Nations International Childhood Emergency Fund, was set up to deliver emergency health care, including immunisations, to displaced and disadvantaged children around the world.

The work UNICEF has been doing via their immunisation program is very highly regarded and aligns with the Vax4Vax values and aims.

“UNICEF is an independent, secular organisation which is dependent on external funding, and we are happy to be one of the funding streams giving them the ability to continue their work.” Their work now is as relevant as it was then.


Dr David Rutherford is a highly regarded medical professional who has dedicated his career to travel medicine and preventative health. David completed his medical training in the UK, and used the time and proximity to travel widely.

Spending time in Zambia and Zimbabwe opened his eyes to a very different and unequal world. It was this experience and through further travel which sparked a reaction in David and he then dedicated his career to working in travel medicine and children’s refugee health.

“On one hand, I try to prevent illness for travellers and on the other I see the direct effects of vaccine preventable illness and the impact it can have,” says Dr Rutherford.

“My goal with the Vax4Vax initiative is to create a link between the two areas, to raise awareness of the benefits of immunisation for travellers, whilst at the same time making a contribution to help reduce vaccine preventable illness for all.”

To this point we have donated over $50,000.

Given our interest in vaccinations for travel we are very excited about our Vax4Vax programme. This is a very simple idea – for each private vaccine we use in Fremantle to protect our community from infectious disease, we donate 50 cents towards vaccination programs overseas through UNICEF. Vaccines used in these programmes include polio, yellow fever, measles, tuberculosis and tetanus, just to name a few. So as a patient of our clinic, any vaccines you have will directly benefit people overseas who would otherwise not have access to this valuable form of health prevention. The end goal is to help reduce the global burden of infectious disease and thereby reduce the risk for vulnerable communities and in turn for travellers.
Please feel free to discuss the Vax4Vax initiative with any of our staff members as they are all passionate about this cause.
– Dr David Rutherford –