From Vaccines to NCDs: Our day at the GAVI Alliance & big news from WHA66!

Happy Monday! Today marks the beginning of the Week 2 for our USC Global Health team here in Geneva! As the World Health Assembly winds down this week, our focus has shifted to gaining additional perspectives from other key global health players. We are fortunate enough to have the opportunity to sit down with some of the most prominent organizations in the field of global health and learn about how their institutions are working to make a difference.

To jumpstart our week, our first visit was to the Global Alliance for Vaccines & Immunisations (GAVI) Alliance to meet with Dan Thomas, Head of Media & Communications. As Mr. Thomas explained, the GAVI Alliance works to accelerate the introduction of vaccines to the world’s poorest countries. Their four strategic goals are to: 1.) accelerate the uptake and use of underused and new vaccines, 2.) contribute to strengthening the capacity of integrated health systems to deliver immunization, 3.) increase the predictability of global financing and improve the sustainability of national financing for immunization, and 4.) shape vaccine markets to ensure adequate supply of appropriate, quality vaccines at low and sustainable prices. To achieve these goals, the Alliance relies on a strong innovative partnership comprised of both public and private players, ranging from WHO and the World Bank to governments from donor countries and developing countries to civil society organizations and the vaccine industry. It was really interesting to see a public-private partnership of this magnitude after hearing about the importance of these partnerships throughout the discussions at the WHA last week, especially in reference to achieving development goals in post-2015. While hesitation still exists in the global health community, the GAVI Alliance holds that their public-private alliance is critical to their success because it brings together all the necessary players to achieve a common goal: to save children’s lives and protect people’s health by increasing access to immunizations. 
Another aspect of GAVI Alliance that I found extremely interesting was their emphasis on innovative financing. As achieving the Millenium Development Goals became increasingly more urgent over the last few years, increased attention was not only placed on how we were going to achieve them but how are we going to fund how we achieve them. Hence, innovative financing quickly gained hype throughout the global health community, with the acknowledgement that funding needs to be both sustainable and predictable. Since its inception in 2000, the GAVI Alliance has introduced two innovative financing mechanisms: the International Finance Facility for Immunization (IFFIm) and the Advance Market Commitment (AMC). Mr. Thomas informed us that through these mechanisms GAVI has raised over US$ 3.7 billion on capital market and accelerated access to pneumococcal vaccines in some of the world’s poorest countries. To find out more about innovative financing & the GAVI Alliance models, click here.
Although I’d love to continue gushing about our wonderful meeting at GAVI, I think it’s also important to highlight some big news from the WHA today! If you’ve been following us here or on Twitter, you know that one of our primary focuses has been on NCDs and the potential adoption of the NCD Omnibus Resolution. Our friends at the NCD Alliance just announced that the Omnibus Resolution & Global Action Plan were adopted today Committee A by ALL countries with a total of 41 co-sponsor countries! The Omnibus Resolution is a comprehensive resolution that encompasses the draft Global NCD Action Plan 2013-2029, the Global Monitoring Framework for NCDs, and the establishment of a Global Coordination Mechanism for NCDs. Together, these components establish the way by which countries can fulfill their commitments to the fight against NCDs and reach specified NCD targets, such as reducing NCD deaths by 25% by 2025. For more details on the Omnibus Resolution check out the NCD Alliance website here. The adoption of the NCD resolution was just one of a handful of events that took place today at the WHA. To find out what else happened today, check out WHO’s daily notes center here
Overall it was an amazing day – both for us and the fight against noncommunicable diseases! Thanks to our inspiring meeting with the GAVI Alliance, we are excited for what the rest of the week brings! 
Be sure to check back tomorrow to find out about our visit to The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria!