Action on development and a desire to protect and strengthen our system of global governance are two passions that I have carried with me throughout my political life. As the next Chair of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, having the opportunity to combine both of these passions by helping Gavi drive through the ambitious goals of its next strategic period and further establish its unique public-private structure as a model for multilateral cooperation makes me incredibly proud and excited.
I was 31 years old when I became responsible for Development Cooperation as Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs in my home country of Portugal. It was a privilege that enabled me to work directly with over 30 countries in Africa alone, and lead a number of missions where I saw first-hand not only the importance but the transformational effect that development cooperation, namely in the fields of education and health, can have on a nation’s future path.
Gavi is a great example, perhaps the best, of a model for international cooperation fit for the 21st century.
I later served as both Minister of Foreign Affairs and Prime Minister. During this time in national politics, development issues remained of high importance to me. I served as mediator of the peace process for Angola, played a role in bringing about the referendum that led to the independence of East Timor and proactively built and strengthened Portugal’s networks and relationships across the Global South.
To me, development is not just about richer countries helping poorer ones, although this is important, it is also about putting in place long-term, positive change that benefits everyone. During my Presidency of the European Commission between 2004 and 2014, among initiatives, I helped oversee renewed efforts to combat climate change, advance the cause of women in leadership and protect workers from the destabilizing effects of globalization. I was proud to accept the Nobel Peace Prize in 2012 on behalf of the European Union and l remain a strong believer that the EU has been a force for good in the world – including beyond its borders - throughout its history.
I love the country where I am from and am proud to call myself Portuguese. But I am also a citizen of the world. We all are. In our world there has never been a greater need for innovative mechanisms of international governance that are able to overcome national interest and allow countries to fight shared challenges together. When faced with so many threats and challenges in this world, that is more complex and interconnected than ever, we can no longer just say: “your” side of the boat is sinking!
Gavi is a great example, perhaps the best, of a model for international cooperation fit for the 21st century. Established in 2000, it has succeeded not only in preventing the deaths of millions of children but in uniting countries behind a single goal: that by protecting all children equally from preventable disease, you not only give health but you give hope and prospects, two equally precious commodities.
When I join Gavi in January, it will be at a time when it is contemplating the most ambitious period in its history.
The generations of children that have now grown up protected against a range of diseases thanks to Gavi are also a powerful reminder of the contribution that public health can make to peace, stability, economic growth and social justice.
Another reason for Gavi’s success has been its innovative operating model and its ability to engage civil society and the private sector in its work. In today’s world, bringing together public, private, international institutions and civil society organizations as well as the scientific community demonstrates that when acting jointly we are stronger than the sum of our individual efforts.
When I join Gavi in January, it will be at a time when it is contemplating the most ambitious period in its history. Not only to reach a record number of children with life-saving vaccines but those that are hardest to reach. At the same time, it remains committed to delivering the countries it helps to a path of self-reliance, notably through the strengthening of its health systems. Gavi must also play a pivotal role in applying its expertise and experience to help the world out of the biggest economic and social crisis in a lifetime, COVID-19. I am aware of the great challenge this presents, to Gavi and to me as a leader. I am also aware of the legacy left by my immediate predecessor, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, whose time at Gavi saw her guide the organization through the introduction of Ebola vaccines and more recently the challenge of responding to COVID-19. I look forward to joining Gavi on its journey, and relish the prospect of helping it tackle the tasks that lie ahead.
In the face of the challenges posed by the pandemic, Ghana is working to protect 4.5 million at-risk children from polio through the launch of two polio vaccination campaigns. Here’s a closer look at those efforts for World Polio Day.
Scientists around the world are working at an unprecedented pace to test different types of vaccines that could help to stop the spread of COVID-19.
The COVID-19 pandemic has shone a spotlight on social, economic, and environmental risks that have been building for the past half-century of neoliberalism. Even amid the deep uncertainties of today's global situation, one thing is clear: it is…
President of Niger H.E. Issoufou Mahamadou talks about the importance of routine immunisation and Gavi support in Niger, and the need for ensuring universal access to COVID-19 vaccines through the COVAX Facility.
Timor-Leste’s Director-General of Health Services for the Ministry of Health discusses the unique challenges of tackling COVID-19 in Timor-Leste and how have they been addressed.
Most vaccine candidates in early development fail: this is the stark reality of vaccine development.
Over 50% more children were immunised in Gavi countries in 2019 than in 2000, yet 10.6 million children continue to miss out entirely on basic vaccinations. Here’s why reaching these children and setting them on the pathway to full immunisation…
We need a range of treatments to make Covid-19 preventable and treatable. Jeremy Farrar describes recent progress made by research and why more investment is needed.
Herd immunity threshold may have been reached in Amazonas capital, Manaus, but experts warn that herd immunity is not the end of the pandemic.
As the pandemic unfolded around the world, hand sanitizer and handwashing stations became as in-demand as toilet paper.
In 2019, countries delivered more than 230 million routine vaccinations, a record number, supported by unprecedented levels of health system funding from Gavi to support immunisation and protect the most vulnerable children. Here is what Gavi did…
On International Day of the Girl Child, Gavi’s Megan Holloway looks at how COVID-19 is impacting the lives of girls
As the most ambitious pandemic-response initiative ever conceived, the COVID-19 Vaccine Global Access Facility is the best chance the world has to bring the pandemic to an end. But to succeed, COVAX requires broad international buy-in, based on…
European Commission Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO) humanitarian air bridge made it possible
Preventing and controlling infectious disease is possible with dedication of health workers, multi-stakeholder collaboration and equitable access to vaccines. Africa’s wild polio-free certification, which took decades of collaborative effort, is…
Polio, a contagious disease caused by the poliomyelitis virus is transmitted primarily when stool from someone infected contaminates foods, drinks or water sources. It invades the nervous system and could, in a matter of hours, lead to complete…
Vaccines are designed to trigger an immune response to pathogens we’ve never encountered before. But how does it feel to be one of the first humans to encounter a new vaccine? British communications consultant Heather Macdonald-Tait explains what…
In a matter of months, the COVID-19 pandemic has devastated the global economy. Now a new study looks at how this economic shock is impacting sovereign debt levels of Gavi-supported countries.
Africa has not been as hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic as predicted. Here, we talk to Professor Salim Abdool Karim, the head of South Africa's Ministerial Advisory Committee on COVID-19 to find out why and what the future might hold.
In the first of this series, we look at the highlights of an evaluation to determine the potential barriers to immunisation caused by the increase in urbanisation.
Vaccines save lives by protecting children and adults from diseases. COVID-19 pandemic is a clear example of what a world without vaccines could look like. Governments should ensure that delivery of essential services such as vaccines remains a…
Throughout the 2016–2020 strategic period, the Vaccine Alliance has worked with countries to improve data quality. From GIS to SMS, new tech and tools aim to reach more people with life-saving immunisation.
To bring countries on a trajectory towards financial sustainability, and to empower them to take ownership
of their vaccination programmes, Gavi has pioneered an approach to co-financing and transition.
With only 542 global cases in 2019, polio is a distant memory in most parts of the world. However, this highly contagious disease could spread rapidly in communities with limited access to vaccines, health care and sanitation – a risk greatly…
Her own healthy baby son is how Ugandan nurse Maureen Wandawa demonstrates the benefits of immunization. Working together to build confidence in, and access to, vaccines for all who need them is one way we can #UniteforHealth to keep us all safer…
Gavi's partnership with telecoms provider Orange and the Ministry of Health overcomes barriers to childhood immunisation through tailored, tested technology.
The true number could be much higher, and two million could die before we get a vaccine, says the World Health Organization.
Gender equality must be at the heart of not only our response, but our attempts to restructure systems to be fairer and more equal to recover better.
The prospect of having the first supplies of at least a few effective COVID-19 medicines and vaccines by the end of 2020 is a key driver of recent market optimism.
The benefits of immunisation extend beyond preventing childhood deaths. Vaccines are also a vital tool in the fights against cancer, outbreaks and antimicrobial resistance.
When I join Gavi in January, it will be at a time when it is contemplating the most ambitious period in its history.
We are close to a polio-free world, yet cases of vaccine-derived disease are challenging the eradication effort.
Tips for teachers to protect themselves and their students.
The goal of our market shaping work is to help ensure vaccine markets work better for lower-income countries. We want the maximum number of people to receive the life-saving and health-protecting benefits of immunisation.
After transitioning out of Gavi support in 2017, the Republic of Moldova is mobilising champions and advocates to strengthen vaccine confidence – which is crucial to the success and sustainability of immunisation programmes.
An ingredient called dmLT could be the key to improving vaccine effectiveness in low-resource settings.
Biggest funders of emerging infectious diseases R&D are also biggest recipients. Ebola and Zika experienced R&D spike in wake of epidemics. US is losing global leadership role in the field.
Vaccine manufacturers have worked hard to adapt to a new normal of keeping supplies for immunisation programmes going in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Typhoid fever is increasingly resistant to the main antibiotics used to treat it. Gavi is supporting a new vaccine to help control this deadly disease – and fight antimicrobial resistance.
We commit to fostering a just, equitable and diverse culture free from racism and discrimination in which all staff, partners and stakeholders feel empowered, safe and heard.
September 2020 marks the 75th anniversary of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). This year, the focus of the high-level General Debate is the importance of effective multilateralism.
Gavi’s Derrick Sim, Director of Vaccine Supply and Demand, discusses why it is sometimes important to halt clinical trials.
Snapshots from DRC, India and Zambia illustrate country ownership and progress in the fights against Ebola, polio and HPV.
Being in a constant state of high alert and uncertainty is exhausting yet health officials warn that we can’t let our guard down yet and resisting living with the ‘new normal’ could threaten our health.
Some researchers conducting clinical trials on a COVID-19 vaccine have not revealed to the public what the placebo contains, but they should.
Supporting health systems is essential for Gavi’s work to improve immunisation coverage and equity.
We need to understand the impact of Covid-19 on wider health issues to shape better public health responses and limit long-term consequences. Drug resistance is one of these, Gemma Buckland-Merrett explains.
When disaster strikes a country, the impact on people’s health can be immense and long-lasting. As the effects of climate change are felt around the world through rising temperatures and sea levels, natural disasters are increasingly frequent and…
When I was 12, I received the HPV vaccine just like most girls my age in Rwanda. The day after we got the first dose, my classmates started spreading rumours about the vaccine that they had heard from their families and communities.
Vaccines are the best tools yet invented to prevent child deaths and protect people’s health. Gavi funding for access to vaccines has protected a generation of children growing up in lower-income countries. Gavi funds twin approaches to…
While scientific and vaccine manufacturing community make huge strides in the race towards that goal, it is important to remember that vaccines are only one of three Vs needed to beat this coronavirus.
How one social mobiliser in South Sudan has managed to contribute to health security in her region.
Anecdotes of how people feel about vaccines are plenty, but there have been few attempts to gather robust global data. This five-year study reviewed survey responses from over a quarter of a million people around the world on how they felt about…
Gavi’s CEO provides an overview of its flagship publication, launched today.
In Malawi, primary school drop-out rates are among the highest in Africa. To try and guarantee high coverage, the HPV vaccine is administered to 9-years-old girls.
If a COVID-19 vaccine is to reach the global public sometime next year, it will be the result of one of the fastest developments and rollouts of a vaccine against a new disease ever. In contrast, the RTS,S malaria vaccine, which is currently…
Ethiopia has overtaken Nigeria to become the Gavi-eligible African country most affected by COVID-19. Over the past week, the number of confirmed cases in Ethiopia has grown exponentially. Despite the pandemic, immunisation activities – both…
As CEO of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance funded largely by Bill Gates, Dr Seth Berkley has helped vaccinate almost half the world’s children from fatal and debilitating diseases. His current baby is the COVAX Facility to help develop, manufacture and…
You may have heard the saying, “no products, no programs,” but for those who work in public health during COVID-19, the saying has become “no PPE, no programs.” And for community health workers (CHWs) who play a vital role in providing health…
Helping rural and urban girls across Ethiopia understand cervical cancer and HPV.
Researchers across the world are working flat out to develop and manufacture a vaccine for COVID-19 that can end what has been the worst pandemic in at least a century.
Dr Melanie Saville, CEPI’s Director of Vaccine Development, discusses what a successful vaccine against COVID-19 would involve, some of the unknowns and the challenges that vaccine developers are wrestling with, and what makes CEPI’s approach…
Before the pandemic began, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) was already facing a severe measles outbreak which started at the end of 2018. Despite huge challenges caused by COVID-19 and other diseases, the largest measles outbreak in…
How the African Region is Celebrating the End of Wild Polio while cVDPV Outbreaks Continue
By foot, boat and bicycle, thousands of volunteer vaccinators in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) go to extraordinary efforts, sometimes at personal risk, to help eradicate polio.
An estimated $15.9 trillion has been mobilised to respond to the health and economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Some of this has gone to multilateral and bilateral funders to support low- and middle-income countries’ (LMIC) governments.
When Aisha took her son Busami Modu to his grandmother’s house in Kuya, a village in Borno state, Nigeria, she waved goodbye to a healthy, happy little boy. A “beauty to behold,” she recalls. The next time she saw him, he was paralysed and unable…
Data from global Ipsos survey shows 37% of those polled worldwide think it is likely a vaccine will be available by the end of the year. But is this optimism misplaced?
As one of the African countries most affected by COVID-19, Nigeria has faced significant economic and health impacts, including to routine immunisation, in the face of the pandemic.
Diarrheal disease is the second leading infectious killer of children under five worldwide. Lessons learned from tackling this deadly disease could also help us recover from COVID-19 stronger than ever.
As more people have moved to cities, population density, human encroachment and increased global interconnectivity have contributed to the spread of infectious diseases.
COVID-19 has triggered lockdown measures for billions of people around the world. As many of us struggle to adapt to the ‘new normal’, we look at the origins of quarantine measures - and how they’ve been used to contain deadly outbreaks for…
The misinformation surrounding COVID-19 in the Democratic Repubic of the Congo isn’t new – public health officials have seen rumours and myths circulate with Ebola. Here’s how they are tackling them.
Analysis suggests that investments in vaccination programmes will result in US$ 0.8 trillion in returns over the next ten years.
If you test positive for COVID-19 antibodies, does that actually mean you’ve been infected?
In the recent past, 25-year-old Zahra Mohamud* had visited the Hawadle maternal and child health centre in Hargeisa regularly to have her older son Ibrahim* vaccinated against the most common childhood diseases.
When COVID-19 vaccines become available, one of the biggest challenges the global community will face is equitable distribution. This will be the single largest vaccine deployment in history.
Governments have had to act fast to not only protect their people against COVID-19 but also to ensure protective measures like vaccination against other infectious diseases…
The UK has just secured 90 million doses of future COVID-19 vaccines, and now it is trying to recruit volunteers for some of the biggest ever phase 3 trials to test potential vaccines.
Health workers are stopping at nothing to ensure immunizations for every child.
Reports of a potentially more infectious form of the coronavirus have fed fears that a "mutant” version of the virus could arise. But what does mutation actually mean and is it really a cause for concern?
It’s a devil’s choice governments have faced since the start of the pandemic, but new research could provide the answer.
Ever since the new coronavirus was identified, there has been a debate about whether it is airborne or not. Now, over 200 scientists from around the world have written to the World Health Organization urging it to consider the potential of COVID-…
As the world waits for a vaccine to defeat the COVID-19 pandemic, we look back to all that vaccines have achieved for humanity.
The head of Gapminder, whose mission is to fight ignorance with a fact-based world view, talks with Gavi about data and COVID-19.
Living Goods saves lives by supporting digitally empowered community health workers who deliver care
This article is a summary of an online conversation hosted by the Gavi CSO Constituency in partnership with ACTION, Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, RESULTS UK & Save the Children.
Routine immunisation has slowed in many Gavi-supported countries around the world. Here, researchers writing in The Lancet, including a Gavi scientist, look at the effect of lockdown on vaccination programmes in Karachi, Pakistan
Across Gavi-eligible countries, we have seen a consistent increase in cases since March 2020. Within the month of June alone, the number of cases has more than doubled, with 70 out of 73 Gavi-eligible countries reporting over 1 million confirmed…
As of 27 June 2020, there have been 513 tests carried out in the camps, with 49 confirmed cases.
The first African clinical trial for a COVID-19 vaccine has started in South Africa, run by the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg (Wits).
'Global Goal: Unite for Our Future' mobilized over $6.9 billion to help the world’s most vulnerable.
With more than 200 COVID-19 vaccines already in development, why do we need the Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator Vaccine Pillar, or COVAX Pillar?
There has been a huge variation in how countries have responded to COVID-19. Whilst some have imposed strict lockdown measures, others have avoided tight restrictions. But what works best?
Seventy (of 73) Gavi-eligible countries have reported 824,259 confirmed cases and 20,641 deaths. The number of cases is increasing at an average rate of 4% from the previous day.
As the devastating consequences of the pandemic unfold across the world, COVID-19 is making long-lasting changes in global health
So far relatively few people in Africa have been infected by the novel coronavirus, with around 215,000 cases and 5,800 deaths in a population of 1.2 billion in the continent. But with lockdowns lifting, will cases soar?
How to safely get routine vaccinations for your child during the COVID-19 pandemic
SARS, Ebola, Zika, and now COVID-19. Five reasons why disease epidemics and even pandemics are becoming increasingly common.
Ideally, humanity would end COVID-19 by eradicating it so there are no new cases globally even in the absence of preventive measures. However, experience with other disease eradication programmes indicates that this will be very challenging, and…
On 4 June, global leaders met at a virtual event to pledge support for Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, and in the process made history by reaching new global health milestones
Seventy (out of 73) Gavi-eligible countries have reported 475,401 confirmed cases and 12,464 deaths. Though this number still accounts for a small proportion, about 7%, of global COVID-19 cases, this share is expected to increase given the…
We’ve all seen the shocking projections: at least 80 million children under one are at risk of developing diseases like measles, diphtheria, and polio due to disruptions in routine immunization services because of COVID-19.
In the absence of a vaccine or treatment against the new coronavirus, measures to control its spread rely on avoiding contact with people who we are not sharing a house with. This study shows the varying effects of such preventive measures.
Zipline is a California-based automated logistics company that uses autonomous drones to make on-demand, emergency deliveries of high priority products, including emergency and routine vaccines and other health products.
Equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines was a major priority for world leaders attending the virtual meeting
Health is not just a human right, it is a prerequisite for development. Through its advocacy programme Global Health, Global Access, Cordaid continually stresses the importance of Health for All.
There is no fundamental reason to stop immunization in any situation.
Seventy (out of 73) Gavi-eligible countries have reported 257,996 confirmed cases and 7,547 deaths. These 70 countries account for a small proportion, about 5%, of global COVID-19 cases and 2% of global deaths.
Vietnam became one of the first countries to report a COVID-19 infection and the first to report human-to-human transmission outside of China. One hundred days later, just 270 cases had been confirmed in the country, with no deaths.
Experts are warning that COVID-19 could become an endemic disease. What does this mean and how will it impact our response?
Pregnant women can be more exposed to risk during outbreaks. With 200 million pregnant women in the world, is the global pandemic response adequate to protect them, and not just from the coronavirus?
The country has made strategic investments including supply chain strengthening and technological innovation, all of which have allowed critical immunisation activities to continue during and beyond the quarantine.
Does air travel increase your chances of getting becoming infected by the novel coronavirus and contracting COVID-19?
Zenysis is an advanced analytics software company. Their platform helps countries harness the life-saving power of data to improve the delivery of essential health services, like childhood vaccination, and to fight infectious disease outbreaks.…
The COVID-19 pandemic is putting a strain on health systems worldwide. The increasing demand on health facilities and health care workers has dramatically shifted resources from essential routine health services to COVID-19 response as countries…
Social inequity will put the poorest populations at greater risk from COVID-19
As countries rich and poor struggle with challenges in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, Afghanistan is taking proactive steps to overcome its own.
The new coronavirus has killed more than a quarter of a million people in just a few months, but the pandemic’s effect on food, housing and job insecurity will last years.
Will efforts to save lives in cases of severe COVID-19 trigger another global health crisis once the pandemic is over?
Sixty-nine (out of 73) Gavi-eligible countries have reported 123,129 confirmed cases and 3,941 deaths, five more countries than the 64 announced last week. These countries account for about 3% of global COVID-19 cases and deaths.
For the global health community, the implications resulting from COVID-19 could be immense.
The COVID-19 pandemic has placed a heavy burden on global economies, health care systems and other core sectors. Gavi is helping countries reallocate their health system strengthening grants to provide fast and flexible funding for vital…
Q&A with Dr Vertando Halim, Coordinator of Expanded Programme on Immunization, Jakarta, Indonesia
The world is currently on pause, buying time while an effective vaccine against COVID-19 is developed. Already, several vaccines have entered human trials, and discussions have begun about how the most promising candidates might be manufactured…
The COVID-19 pandemic has placed a heavy burden on global economies, healthcare systems and other core sectors. Gavi is helping countries reallocate their health system strengthening grants to provide fast and flexible funding for vital resources…
How the 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic can help us be better prepared for distributing and administering potential COVID-19 vaccines.
Indigenous groups face unique health challenges. How do we mitigate these risks in our COVID response?
The immediate and long-term consequences of the coronavirus pandemic are disproportionately impacting the lives of women and girls, and the most marginalised.
With COVID-19 spreading in low- and middle-income countries, governments have been imposing strict lockdowns that could pose an even greater threat than the virus itself.
Interview with Emmanuel Lansana, outpatient supervisor at Monrovia’s Redemption Hospital in Liberia, about lessons learned from the Ebola outbreak that can help tackle COVID-19.
Africa is better prepared now to perform research in emerging infections than during the Ebola epidemics in West Africa.
Will new evidence suggesting that the virus is airborne mean we all need to wear masks?
Could the impact of COVID-19 on routine immunisation be an even bigger threat in low-income countries than the virus itself?
Imperial model of the spread of COVID-19 implies a suppression strategy could be most effective.
Over 1 billion lives are at risk if COVID-19 sweeps through crowded slums. How can we prepare?
When a COVID-19 vaccine is available, how will we pay for it?
With zero cases of COVID-19 in Mozambique so far, Dr Rosa Marlene, National Director of Public Health of Mozambique, discusses a potential impact that a pandemic of this magnitude could have on the country’s health system.
Africa marks a critical juncture for the coronavirus pandemic.
We don’t yet know how the COVID-19 pandemic will progress and how long it will take for a vaccine to be developed, but the knowledge and experience gained from past outbreaks can be applied to the global response to coronavirus.
A vaccine against the novel coronavirus is under urgent development as the number of people infected with COVID-19 increases, a process which could also result in a new range of highly innovative vaccine technologies that ushers in a new era in…