Company Partnerships Aim To Increase Access to Vaccines Worldwide1.5 million children die from vaccine-preventable diseases annually. To combat these rising numbers, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation created a partnership with organizations to try a new approach and give children living in developing countries access to vaccines.

Since the development of the modern-day vaccine, millions of lives have been saved each year, becoming the most cost-effective health invention ever created.

While progress has been made, one in five children worldwide are not fully protected by the most basic vaccines.

With the help of a $750 million five-year pledge from the Bill & Melinda Foundation, the Global Alliance for Vaccines Immunization (GAVI) was created in January 2000.

The global public-private partnership’s goal is to save children’s lives and improve health through increasing vaccine access to the world’s poorest countries.

Since the inception of the alliance, the Bill & Melinda Foundation have committed $2.5 billion to GAVI.

“Investments in global immunization have yielded an extraordinary return,” said Julian Lob-Levvt, CEO of the GAVI Alliance. “The GAVI Alliance was founded just 10 years ago and has already saved 5 million lives by increasing access to immunization in the world’s poorest countries. The potential to make bigger strides in the coming decade is even more exciting.”

Through the global partnership, GAVI works with the World Health Organization (WHO), the World Bank, and UNICEF to deliver life-saving vaccines to developing countries.

By maximizing existing systems, the GAVI Alliance uses the following organizations so life-saving vaccines reach the poorest developing countries.

WHO: Since GAVI is not present on the ground, it works with WHO regional offices to decide where vaccines are desperately needed.

UNICEF: Using its supply division, UNICEF procures the vaccines while GAVI provides the funding. UNICEF procured $3.38 billion worth of supplies and services in 2014.

World Bank: The financial institution provides insight on supply and demand and plays a key role in innovative financing.

Since 2000, GAVI has contributed to the immunization of 500 million additional children.

Through continued partnerships, vaccines can prevent 264 million illnesses by 2020.

“We must make this the decade of vaccines,” said Bill Gates. “Vaccines already save and improve millions of lives in developing countries. Innovation will make it possible to save more children than ever before.”

Alexandra Korman

Sources: Gates Foundation 1, Gates Foundation 2, Gavi
Photo: Flickr