Did you know that global immunization coverage for children, which had been making steady progress for decades, has now been stalled at approximately 80 percent for several years? Sadly, children who could and should receive life-saving vaccines are not getting them. And for the lack of one quick injection, they are suffering, and in some cases dying, needlessly. But with creative thinking brought to light by an innovation contest that can be changed.
Based in Geneva, Switzerland and founded in 2000, Gavi is an international organization committed to improving access to new and underused vaccines for children who live in the poorest countries in the world. The name Gavi is an acronym for Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation. Powered by a five-year, $750 million pledge from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Gavi brings together ideas and action from governments, UN agencies, vaccine producers, and other partners to accelerate access to new vaccines.
INFUSE: Giving Great Ideas the Power to Succeed
Launched last year, Innovation for Uptake, Scale and Equity in Immunization (INFUSE) is an innovation competition that seeks tested innovations that show potential for being able to improve vaccine delivery and “infuses” them with industry expertise and funding to help make them viable on a large scale.
The competition is looking for tools that leverage digital technology in any form and have moved beyond the pilot stage and are capable of being deployed in earnest in six to 12 months. The innovations should address supply and/or demand challenges, and help overcome some or all of the many barriers to immunization, including:
- Communities that are hard to reach
- Misunderstanding about what immunization is
- Lack of understanding about the process and if/when to get additional doses
- A general distrust of health facilities
- Problems with the immunization “infrastructure” (lack of supplies, poor data, etc.)
The deadline for submitting an application is March 15, 2017.
You Can Make a Difference
Are you working on technology that will improve access to immunization? Your idea can change the lives of millions of children. At Skild, we manage innovation contests similar to Gavi INFUSE so we know how powerful creative thinking can be—and we salute all you innovators out there!