Seth Berkley outlines innovations in health financing

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GAVI CEO emphasises importance of long-term sustainable funding for vaccines at high-level Ministerial conference.

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Seth Berkley was addressing the African Conference of Ministers of Finance and Health, hosted by the African Development Bank in Tunis from 4-5 July. Copyright: Alextara/Dreamstime

Tunis, Tunisia, 4 July 2012 - Speaking at a two-day high-level Ministerial conference on health financing on Wednesday, GAVI CEO Dr Seth Berkley underlined GAVI’s commitment to working with countries to assure long-term sustainable financing for childhood vaccines in developing countries.

"Vaccine availability is like a three legged stool: making vaccines more affordable by reducing long-term prices, mobilising country resources and donor support," said Dr. Berkley, addressing The African Conference of Ministers of Finance and Health, hosted by the African Development Bank from 4-5 July.

Ever increasing percentage

“Even for the poorest countries, GAVI requires a small amount of co-financing, so that a national budget line gets opened and supported by the government," added Dr.Berkley,"Over time, countries assume an ever-increasing percentage of the vaccine's cost.”

For donor financing, GAVI has also innovated by using innovative financing schemes such as the International Finance Facility for Immunisation (IFFIm), the Advance Market Commitment (AMC) for pneumococcal vaccines, the GAVI Matching Fund, and a structured co-financing effort by recipient countries.

Over time, countries assume an ever-increasing percentage of the vaccine's cost.

GAVI CEO Dr Seth Berkley

Fundamental role

Dr. Berkley singled out GAVI’s co-financing policy for its fundamental role in facilitating the Alliance’s efforts to guarantee country ownership and long-term sustainability of immunisation programmes.

Of the 59 countries required to co-finance new and underused vaccines supplied by GAVI in 2011, 55 had fulfilled the requirements by the end of the year. Co-payments amounted to approximately US$ 37 million in 2011, representing 8% of the total value of vaccine support to the co-financing countries.

Market shaping

Due to market shaping activities, prices of new vaccines for GAVI countries have dropped by 67-98%. This will also help with sustainability but also requires the assurance of a healthy vaccine market with multiple suppliers and healthy competition as well as adequate finance for quality control/assurance over the longer term.

The African Conference of Ministers of Finance and Health, hosted by the African Development Bank, brought together 45 African Ministers of Finance and Ministers of Health, as well as heads of multilateral organizations, including Dr. Donald Kaberuka, President of the African Development Bank, and Dr. Margaret Chan, Executive Director of the World Health Organization.

1.5 million

In 2012, approximately 6.6 million children died before the age of five. WHO estimates that 1.5 million of these deaths are due to vaccine-preventable diseases.

WHO

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