The pdf version of Vaccines: The Week in Review 30 January 2012 , comprising the posts below for this date, is available here: Vaccines_The Week in Review_30 January 2012
[Editor’s Note: The Global Fund released separate announcements last week on leadership changes and new funding commitments which are distilled below, each with links to the associated full text]
The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria announced that it will appoint Gabriel Jaramillo as General Manager, “a newly created position intended to oversee a process of transformation as it accelerates the fight against the three pandemics by focusing on its management of risk and grants.” Mr. Jaramillo, a former Chairman and CEO of Sovereign Bank, “has more than 35 years of experience in executive positions in the financial sector, where he won broad recognition as a highly skilled leader and administrator with impeccable integrity. Since he retired a year ago, he has served as a Special Advisor to the Office of the Special Envoy for Malaria of the Secretary General of the United Nations, and was a Member of the High-Level, Independent Panel that looked at the Global Fund’s fiduciary controls and oversight mechanisms.” The announcement noted that the Global Fund’s Board in November “approved a Consolidated Transformation Plan to address the findings of the Panel, along with a new, ambitious, four-year strategy and decided to appoint a General Manager to oversee this transformation. The General Manager will report to the Board, and will assume full executive responsibilities for the Global Fund.”
Mr. Jaramillo commented, “My priorities at the Global Fund are to achieve maximum efficiency, accountability and concrete results that save lives. In essence, we will start with a reorganization that emphasizes simplicity, discipline and rigor, with grant-management as the core activity of the institution.” Mr. Jaramillo is described as a native of Colombia and a Brazilian citizen. He studied at California State University, where he earned a Bachelor’s degree in marketing and a Master’s degree in Business Administration. Over the next three decades, “he excelled as a manager at successive institutions, including Marine Midland Bank, Citibank, Banco Santander and Sovereign Bank, where he became Chairman and CEO in 2009. He retired from that position in January 2011, and remained as Chairman until June 2011.” Mr. Jaramillo will take up a 12-month appointment on 1 February 2012. http://www.theglobalfund.org/en/mediacenter/pressreleases/2012-01-24_The_Global_Fund_appoints_Gabriel_Jaramillo_as_General_Manager/
The Global Fund announced that Executive Director Michel Kazatchkine “has decided to step down in mid-March after leading the organization for five years, during which time he oversaw a dramatic expansion in the organization’s life-saving work.” In a statement to staff, Prof. Kazatchkine said, “For the last ten years, the Global Fund has been my passion and my most important undertaking. I am immensely proud of what the Global Fund has achieved in these ten years, and I am tremendously grateful that I have been able to play a central part in its evolution and success.” Prof. Kazatchkine also said that “while he respects the Board’s decision to appoint a General Manager and ‘trusts that it was made in the best interests of the Global Fund,’ he has concluded that he should not continue as Executive Director in these circumstances.” Prof. Kazatchkine concluded, “I am committed to an orderly transition and I will do all that I can to ensure that the Global Fund emerges from it as a stronger organization.” Global Fund Board Chair Simon Bland said, “Few individuals have played a more central role in the creation and evolution of the Global Fund than Michel. The Global Fund as we know it today, the millions of lives it has saved, and the many other successes and innovations with which the Fund is associated, all bear Michel’s imprint. Most importantly, his unwavering commitment to health, to human rights and to supporting the weakest and the unprotected, has helped shape the Global Fund into the beacon of hope it is today for tens of millions of people around the world.”
– Read Message from the Executive Director to Staff and Partners
– Read Message from Chair of the Board to the Board of the Global Fund
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation renewed its commitment to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria via a US$750 million promissory note, described as a “a new and innovative funding mechanism…(which) gives the Global Fund the flexibility and authority to distribute funds efficiently based on immediate needs, leading to greater impact.” The announced said the Global Fund “continues to save 100,000 lives a month. The Fund has provided antiretroviral treatment to 3.3 million people, detected and treated 8.2 million people with tuberculosis, and provided 230 million bed nets to families to prevent malaria.”
The Global Fund said it welcomed the recent announcement by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia of a contribution worth US$25 million. The contribution, to be paid in full by 2013, will bring the total contribution from Saudi Arabia to the Global Fund in the decade since it was established to US$53 million. The announcement by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia came in a letter to United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in response to an appeal Mr. Ban had made on the Global Fund’s behalf. Saudi Arabia is described as one of the main donors from the Gulf region to the Global Fund. In the Middle-East and North Africa, the Global Fund is currently supporting 20 countries and territories in their fight against HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis and malaria. http://www.theglobalfund.org/en/mediacenter/pressreleases/2012-01-24_Saudi_Arabia_donates_USD_25000000_to_the_Global_Fund/
The Gates Foundation announced the winner of the first Gates Vaccine Innovation Award, recognizing the work of Dr. Asm Amjad Hossain, a former district immunization and surveillance medical officer in Bangladesh. The announcement noted that “to help vaccinators reach children, Dr. Hossain instituted a new and improved process to help register, track and locate pregnant mothers. He also implemented annual vaccination schedules for communities and other simple steps like adding the phone numbers of vaccinators to children’s immunization cards, which increased accountability and allowed parents to easily access health workers.” Dr. Hossain oversaw routine immunization programs in two Bangladeshi districts with low immunization rates, Brahmanbaria and Habiganj. He was tasked with immunizing more than 150,000 children against vaccine-preventable diseases including diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, polio, and measles. In the course of a single year, his application of creative methods contributed to an increase in immunization coverage by more than 15 percentage points. Dr. Hossain’s achievements will be recognized with an award of US$250,000, the majority of which will be donated to a charity of his choice.
The Gates Vaccine Innovation Award “celebrates revolutionary ways in which children in the poorest parts of the world receive life-saving vaccines. The award is bestowed on an individual or organization nominated by the public that has made a uniquely innovative contribution to the Decade of Vaccines, in the hope of shining a light on the most powerful innovations in global health. Nominees are assessed on the tangible health impact, creativity, and scale of their innovation in the science, delivery, or funding of vaccines.”
The GAVI Alliance said it will receive at least US$4.5 million for child immunisation from two new partners to its unique GAVI Matching Fund program. The new funding was committed by Comic Relief, a UK-based charity that fights poverty and social injustice, and The Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF), a UK-based charity that works to improve the lives of children living in poverty in developing countries. The new funding will be matched by the British Government and the Gates Foundation, bringing the total to US$9 million. Separately, GAVI said that “an anonymous private foundation also hopes to make use of a GAVI innovative finance vehicle by investing in the International Finance Facility for Immunisation (IFFIm), The anonymous foundation has discussed an investment in IFFIm bonds whereby it could donate the interest generated to GAVI through the Matching Fund. Under such an arrangement, the coupon (interest) has the potential to exceed US$5 million, which would be matched by the Gates Foundation. http://www.gavialliance.org/library/news/press-releases/2012/gavi-alliance-programme-raises–us$-38-million-for-child-immunisation/
UNICEF appealed for US$1.28 billion to fund its humanitarian operations in 2012, assisting children in more than 25 countries globally. Supporting the appeal, UNICEF released a new report – UNICEF 2012 – Humanitarian Action for Children – which notes that “throughout the world, millions of children are living amidst crises that persist for years. While some of these emergencies attract significant media and political attention, others never reach international awareness, and many become silent emergencies in which deep humanitarian need, existing far from the public eye, is too easily and quickly overlooked.” The UNICEF report “describes the daily situation of some of the world’s most vulnerable children and women caught up in emergencies across the world and the funding required to meet their immediate and long-term needs.” UNICEF said that it requires adequate funding in order to fulfill its commitments towards children as “they not only represent the future but are the most vulnerable, and deserve generous and consistent support from the donor community.”
UNICEF’s 2012 Humanitarian Action for Children report: http://www.unicefusa.org/har.
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation co-chair Bill Gates released his fourth annual letter which “challenged global leaders to invest in innovations that are accelerating progress against poverty, or risk a future in which millions needlessly starve.” The Gates Foundation media release noted that “the letter describes remarkable progress in the developing world and makes the case to continue investing in efforts that have made a difference for millions of the world’s poorest people. Over the past 50 years, for example, the percentage of the population living in poverty has fallen from 40 percent to 15 percent, or about 1 billion people. Gates believes it is possible to continue the progress, but only with innovative investments in areas like helping small farmers grow more food, which is the best way to fight hunger and poverty among the poor.”
To view the letter click here: www.gatesfoundation.org/annualletter
Twitter Watch [accessed 29 January 2012: 19:45]
Items of interest from a variety of twitter feeds associated with immunization, vaccines and global public health. This capture is highly selective and is by no means intended to be exhaustive.