Vaccine Alliance continues to provide support for health systems across the affected region
Geneva, 19 September 2014 – Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance is extremely concerned about the effect of the unfolding Ebola crisis on the people of West Africa. This public health emergency has exposed major weaknesses of health systems in the region, particularly since many of the affected countries are still recovering from recent conflicts.
Gavi has invested more than US$ 50 million to strengthen health systems for people in countries affected by the outbreak but the unfilled needs remain enormous. We will continue to provide support for health systems across the region with a long-term aim of building strong, resilient health infrastructures.
If countries request it, Gavi will try to respond to their situation by reprogramming current health and immunisation systems grants towards new health systems needs arising from the Ebola outbreak. Gavi will also play an active role in supporting countries in developing strong recovery plans for their health systems.
While Gavi is not structured to undertake emergency response operations, we are working with our Alliance partners in the affected areas to ensure that, wherever possible, children continue to receive vaccines -- including pneumococcal, rotavirus and pentavalent -- which protect against major killer diseases. Unfortunately, we do expect this crisis to have a negative impact on immunisation coverage in the affected countries.
Gavi welcomes the efforts of manufacturers, research institutions and Alliance partners to dramatically accelerate the availability of a vaccine. Should a vaccine against Ebola be recommended by the World Health Organization, we would explore with our Board, partners and donors any potential role for Gavi in making it available to those at risk.