Milestones :: Perspectives
Gavi Mid-Term Review closes with commitments to accelerate immunisation programmes in the poorest countries to reach more children with lifesaving vaccines.
Abu Dhabi, 12 December 2018 – More than 300 leaders of the global health community, including representatives from governments, civil society and the private sector, came together for the Gavi Mid-Term Review this week in Abu Dhabi, UAE. The high-level conference celebrated the 700 million children immunised and 10 million lives saved in the world’s poorest countries thanks to Gavi support since 2000…
…While Gavi is on track to meet its commitments, it still faces a number of challenges including the difficulty of reaching underimmunised children in isolated rural communities, urban slums and conflict settings. It will also need to help countries deal with a growing number of disease outbreaks coupled with the looming challenges of climate change, population growth and urbanization, as well as the fact that more and more of the world’s poorest people will be living in middle-income countries not supported by Gavi.
“We still have a long way to go,” said Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Gavi Board Chair. “Despite improvements in vaccine coverage, it is not accelerating as fast as we would like and this is particularly the case in fragile countries. In order to further its mission and to reach the children who are still missing out on basic vaccines, this week we heard from participants that the Alliance needs to keep on learning from its experiences and continue to adapt. Success will require exploring more innovative and tailored approaches with countries while selectively forging new partnerships with the private sector.”
“By reaching more than 65 million children annually in Gavi-supported countries, vaccination is the shortest path to healthy lives,” said Dr Seth Berkley, CEO of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance. “Vaccines don’t deliver themselves. Expanding health systems to deliver immunisation in low coverage areas builds the base of the primary health system. This is a key contributor to the third Sustainable Development Goal.” Immunisation connects the vast majority of families with the primary health system up to five times in the first year of a child’s life – more than any other health intervention. It ranks among the most equitable interventions, disproportionately benefiting the most marginalised populations and is equally distributed to boys and girls.
New and expanded partnerships
During the mid-term review, Gavi announced a series of new innovative partnerships with the private sector and governments to further strengthen immunisation in developing countries.
:: The German Federal Ministry of Development and Cooperation through the German development bank KfW will explore the application of blockchain technology to Gavi’s cash support and supply chain management systems.
:: Mastercard will leverage its expertise and technology, enabling ministries of health and authorised health workers to provide a card with a digital immunisation record to each participating child’s caregiver. The program aims to strengthen the efficiency and reach of health services in developing countries where children are most at risk of missing out on immunisation.
:: Parsyl Inc will help to boost vaccine supply chains in Uganda and Senegal. The partnership will use Parsyl’s advanced supply chain data platform to support Senegal and Uganda to track and monitor cold chain conditions while vaccines are being distributed within countries.
:: The Uganda Ministry of Health, UPS and Freight in Time Ltd (FIT) will implement an 18 month pilot project using a customised mobile app and a wireless temperature monitoring system to help address supply chain challenges in three Ugandan districts which have the highest number of unimmunised children in the country.
:: Unilever through Lifebuoy, its leading health soap brand, will expand its support to further scale up its ‘Safal Shuruaat’ programme. This India-based initiative, launched in 2018, promotes handwashing with soap and immunisation – two of the most cost-effective child survival interventions – and aims to improve the health of young children by helping to prevent illnesses which are often associated with premature death. The partnership with Gavi contributes to two major public health priorities of the Government of India: Mission Indradhanush and Swachh Bharat. Unilever’s increased financial contribution will be matched by the Government of the Netherlands as part of the Gavi Matching Fund mechanism.
:: Zenysis Technologies – This new strategic partnership agreement will jointly invest to provide countries with access the company’s software platform, analytical training and support IT skills development. Countries will use the platform’s interoperability capabilities to integrate data from their fragmented information systems and help decision makers see where their country’s immunisation programmes are leaving children behind. The project also has the backing of one of Zenysis’ investors, internet services giant Tencent Holdings, Asia’s largest company.
The International Finance Facility for Immunisation (IFFIm) and the Islamic Development Bank Group (IsDB), a development partner of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, announced plans to issue an Islamic-compliant financial instrument, or Sukuk, aimed at accelerating funding for immunisation efforts to save children’s lives in the world’s poorest countries.
New funding commitments
The Republic of Korea announced US$ 15 million in new funding that will be delivered from 2019-2021 and will be funded through Korea’s Global Disease Eradication Fund.
The Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development (Kuwait Fund) formally approved a grant of US$ 1 million to accelerate the availability of funding for immunisation programmes supported by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance.
Lastly, Mohamed Al Ansari, Chairman and Managing Director of Al Ansari Exchange, a leading exchange company in the UAE announced a US$ 1 million pledge to support life-saving vaccines and immunisation in the poorest countries of the world.
The Gavi Mid-Term review was also an opportunity to celebrate global figures whose dedication to the Vaccine Alliance’s mission has played a key role in helping Gavi and its partners to protect hundreds of millions of children across the world. Dr Cyrus Poonawalla, Founder of Serum Institute of India (SII) and Chairman of Poonawalla Group, was given the first ever Vaccine Hero award by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance.
Strengthening efficiency and reach of health services in developing countries with digital immunisation records.
Abu Dhabi, 11 December 2018 – Mastercard and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance announced today at a high-level conference for Gavi’s 2018 mid-term review, a new transformative partnership to ensure more children from the poorest countries are able to benefit from life-saving immunisation programs.
Although major progress has been made to increase immunisation rates, one in five children in Gavi-supported countries are still not reached with basic lifesaving vaccines. In many developing countries, common barriers may include a lack of information about a child’s immunisation record and limited means by which to remind care givers about follow up appointments.
This partnership will leverage Mastercard expertise and technology, enabling ministries of health and authorised health workers to provide a card with a digital immunisation record, to each participating child’s caregiver. By empowering caregivers to stay on track to receive critical vaccinations, the program aims to strengthen the efficiency and reach of health services in developing countries where children are most at risk of missing out on immunisation.
Governments will benefit from having a better understanding of the immunisation needs of their communities.
“Access to services like healthcare and education are vital to helping families build a promising future. By applying our technology to humanitarian and development challenges, we can help optimise and scale life-saving programs in underserved communities around the world,” said Michael Froman, vice chairman and president of strategic growth at Mastercard.
“Children, especially those living in the most remote, impoverished communities, lack immunisation records,” said Dr. Seth Berkley, CEO of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance. “That represents an enormous impediment to Gavi’s mission of ensuring that every child worldwide receives the essential vaccines they need to survive and thrive. This partnership with Mastercard has the potential to overcome that challenge.”
The partnership aims to be implemented across five countries over the next two years with the goal of expanding the solution to all other interested Gavi-supported countries, based on mutually agreed targets…
German government and the Vaccine Alliance to explore the application of blockchain technology to increase efficiency of immunisation programmes.
Abu Dhabi, 11 December 2018 – Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), through the KfW Development Bank, announced at Gavi’s high-level 2018 mid-term review conference in Abu Dhabi, UAE, that they will partner to explore the application of blockchain technology to Gavi’s cash support and supply chain management systems.
Before a vaccine can protect a child, immunisation programmes involve complex planning and procedures. Outdated vaccine supply and distribution systems can delay and limit the impact that vaccines have on people’s health. BMZ, KfW and Gavi recognise that blockchain technology could radically transform health systems by reducing wastage and creating trust amongst development partners, funders and countries.
“Blockchain technology could help us understand in real-time all the steps taken while a vaccine is being delivered,” said Dr Seth Berkley, CEO of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance. “This technology has the potential to increase efficiency and reduce costs for developing countries but, most importantly, it could save lives.”
Starting in 2019, the joint project will focus on exploring practical areas of application for this technology in the immunisation space to, for example, effectively track funds and vaccines…