New private sector partners bring technical expertise and innovative finance to help save children’s lives

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Gavi to leverage corporate patent royalties and local knowledge to improve vaccine delivery and injection safety in poor countries

Davos, 21 January 2015 – A collaboration of private sector organisations with global supply chain and injection safety expertise has partnered with Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance to support children’s health in 73 of the poorest countries. Strong vaccine supply chains, which ensure vaccines get from production lines to children who need them, and injection safety are important factors in increasing vaccination coverage, maintaining vaccine confidence and improving child health in poor countries.

The three-year partnership between Gavi and the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Wholesalers (IFPW), a global association of pharmaceutical wholesalers focused on the storage and delivery of medicines, will bolster regional supply chain training centres in Benin and Rwanda, serving multiple countries in Africa.

Vaccines are temperature sensitive, and the infrastructure in poor countries often is lacking. Partnerships, such as this one with IFPW ... are bringing new thinking and resources to help the Vaccine Alliance reach every child. 

Dr Seth Berkley, CEO of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance

IFPW, whose members include Walgreens Boots Alliance and McKesson-Celesio, will provide a package of support, including US$ 1.5 million in cash and member expertise to ensure that aspiring students in Gavi-supported countries receive the training needed to become the next generation of supply chain managers.

"IFPW and its partners are, by nature, experts in managing healthcare supply chains and cold chains such as those required for proper vaccine handling," explained Ornella Barra, Executive Vice President of Walgreens Boots Alliance and Chief Executive of Global Wholesale and International Retail. "We look forward to sharing our industry’s knowledge, expertise and resources with Gavi and its partners to strengthen developing countries’ medical supply chains and to improve the availability of and access to vaccines for the children who need them."

The new partnerships add to the growing number of private sector organisations engaging with Gavi partners and countries to address key operational challenges. Gavi is also working with UPS, which is leveraging the expertise of its Global Healthcare Logistics Strategy Group to assist Gavi to develop and implement an executive training and mentorship programme to enhance the capability of local supply chain leaders.

"One of the largest obstacles to immunising children in poor countries is getting the vaccines to them," said Gavi CEO Dr Seth Berkley. "Vaccines are temperature sensitive, and the infrastructure in poor countries often is lacking. Partnerships, such as this one with IFPW which represents engagement of a whole new industry, are bringing new thinking and resources to help the Vaccine Alliance reach every child."

Additionally, Gavi also announced two partnerships focused on improving injection safety. These are:

  • A new collaboration with Star Syringe, a UK-based medical research, design and development company, to leverage royalties on the company’s patented K1 auto-disposable syringe which will provide up to US$ 2 million in cost savings to Gavi and developing countries
  • An agreement by the Indian company Hindustan Syringes & Medical Devices (HMD) to bring local knowledge and technical expertise, valued at up to US$ 1.5 million, in support of an upcoming WHO global injection safety campaign.

"As the inventor and patent holder of the K1 auto-disabled syringe, I am delighted that by partnering with Gavi, Star Syringe is able to utilise our patent royalties up to US$ 2 million to provide direct cost savings to Gavi and Gavi-eligible countries," announced Marc Koska, Inventor and Founder of Star Syringe.

"As a family-owned medical device manufacturing firm for over 50 years, HMD is pleased to partner with Gavi to contribute technical expertise and local knowledge to support the upcoming WHO injection safety advocacy campaign," added Rajiv Nath, CEO of HMD. "We have long believed that injection safety is an important global public health issue."

Private sector innovation, technical expertise and local knowledge will be put to work to benefit Gavi-eligible countries and other Vaccine Alliance partners.  

Dr Seth Berkley, CEO of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance

"Gavi’s partnership with Star Syringe and HMD highlights the power of public-private partnership to improve public health," Dr Berkley added. "Private sector innovation, technical expertise and local knowledge will be put to work to benefit Gavi-eligible countries and other Vaccine Alliance partners."

These new partnerships bring total private sector contributions to Gavi to nearly US$ 230 million in cash and in-kind support, including those matched through the Gavi Matching Fund. Under the initiative, the UK’s Department for International Development and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation match contributions to Gavi from corporations, foundations, their members, customers, employees and business partners.

The new announcements come as Gavi partners and donors prepare to meet in Berlin on the 26th and 27th January under the patronage of German Federal Chancellor Dr Angela Merkel to secure the US$ 7.5 million required to fund vaccine programmes in the world’s poorest countries in the 2016 to 2020 period.

To ensure that Berliners are aware of the significance of the event taking place in their city, Wall AG has donated 250 advertising spaces to Gavi free of charge. The posters, depicting children in developing countries making V signs for “Victory over Disease”, are located across the city.

"Wall AG is delighted to support the pledging conference of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, taking place in Berlin," said Daniel Wall, CEO of Wall AG. "We are honoured to be backing this worldwide organisation supported by numerous nations, including Germany, as well as international bodies and organisations such as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. By enhancing the visibility of the conference, we want to bring the important issue of sustainable vaccination in developing countries to the attention of a wider public and in this way contribute to the success of the conference."

Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance is funded by governments (Australia, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Republic of Korea, Russia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom, and United States), the European Commission, the OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID), the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, as well as private and corporate partners (Absolute Return for Kids, Anglo American plc., the A&A Foundation, The Children’s Investment Fund Foundation, Comic Relief, the ELMA Vaccines and Immunization Foundation, JP Morgan, “la Caixa” Foundation, LDS Charities, Lions Club International Foundation, and Vodafone).

Click to view the full donor list.

US$ 1 = US$ 18

A study in Health Affairs covering 73 Gavi-supported countries over the 2011–2020 period shows that, for every US$ 1 spent on immunisation, US$ 18 are saved in healthcare costs, lost wages and lost productivity due to illness. If we take into account the broader benefits of people living longer, healthier lives, the return on investment rises to US$ 48 per US$ 1 spent.

Ozawa S, Clark S, Portnoy A et al. Return on investment from childhood immunizations in low- and middle-income countries, 2011-20, Health Affairs 2016

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