GAVI Alliance (Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization) is a public-private international health partnership that aims to save children’s lives and improve people’s health by increasing access to vaccines in poor and developing countries. It does this by bringing together all the stakeholders – donor governments, developing countries, World Bank, UNICEF, WHO, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, international finance and development organizations, and pharmaceutical industry – in one decision making body. The GAVI Alliance was started in 2000 at a time when the number of children getting immunized were stagnating or even dwindling in the developing countries.
From the time of its inception, it has helped save 370 million child deaths by immunizing them from life-threatening diseases such as Hepatitis B, Hib, polio, tetanus, pertussis, etc.
Method of operations
Countries that are eligible for funding draw up plans for their immunization programme, apply for funding and then implement the immunization program on their own. To make sure that the immunization program is sustainable and that recipient countries seriously carry it out, they are also required to partly fund the cost of vaccines.
India’s involvement with GAVI
India started receiving support for its immunization programme from GAVI in 2002. Apart from that, India is the largest supplier of vaccines to GAVI with 55% of its vaccines coming from the country. Recently, it also agreed to contribute $4 million to the alliance over the next four years. This will give it a chance to interact with the donor constituency and discuss relevant issues with them.