business leaders know that millions of new customers await them in
long-overlooked areas such as sub-Saharan Africa and south Asia if they can
find the right entry strategies. This is one of the more exciting topics being
discussed this week at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, which
we are both attending.
firms that have performed well in these emerging markets understand that
success often follows those who make a positive impact on the lives of future
customers. They recognize that their competitiveness and the health of
communities where they do business are mutually dependent.
same companies are forgoing traditional philanthropy and instead favor
initiatives that make a measurable and long-term impact on individual lives and
entire economies. Funding and supporting the delivery of life-saving vaccines
is one proven way that the private sector can obtain measurable, long-term, and
extremely cost-effective results.
The GAVI Alliance,
a public-private health partnership, is working with a growing array of firms
to dramatically increase the number of poor children who receive life-saving
vaccines, thereby making a long-term investment in their families, communities
invest in immunization? Every year, 1.7 million children die from vaccine-preventable
diseases. The vast majority of these deaths occur in developing countries,
where one out of every five children remains unvaccinated.
Funding and supporting the delivery of life-saving vaccines is one proven way that the private sector can obtain measurable, long-term, and extremely cost-effective results.
are one of the most cost-effective health investments around. The cost of
vaccines used to fully protect a child against the most dangerous diseases is
less than $25 USD in GAVI countries.
2000, GAVI, in partnership with the Gates Foundation and others, has helped
immunize 370 million children, saving 5.5 million lives.
not charity. GAVI works only with recipient countries that help foot the bill.
Take Tanzania, for example. This country of 46 million has a plan to transform
itself into a middle-income economy by 2025. To succeed, the government
recognized it must ensure good health for its citizens. By working closely with
GAVI and its partners, Tanzania has increased its routine
vaccine coverage rates to above 90%, while
co-financing about 10% of the cost of the vaccines. In parallel, the country’s GDP growth has risen to US$ 23.7
billion from US$ 10.2 billion in 2001.
sector involvement means not just financial contributions, but also application
of core business skills – such as supply chain expertise, technology and
advocacy– to help provide vaccines to the world’s poorest children. For
Vodafone, one of the world’s largest mobile
communications companies, will help health ministries in
GAVI-supported countries in sub-Saharan Africa use mobile technology solutions
to improve their immunization programs.
Comic Relief, the popular UK charity, has
partnered with GAVI to significantly raise awareness of the need for vaccines
in the developing world. Last April, it featured immunization as
part of its annual appeal in the UK, which was viewed by millions and has
helped raise US$ 24 million for GAVI.
private sector partners – Absolute Return for Kids, Anglo American, Children’s
Investment Fund Foundation, JPMorgan Chase, “la Caixa” Foundation and LDS
Charities – are part of the GAVI Matching Fund, under which every dollar
donated or gift-in-kind contributed by a private entity, its customers and
employees is matched by the Gates Foundation or the UK government.
contribution of $1.5 million, for example, GAVI can buy enough vaccines to
immunize about 142,000 children against pneumococcal disease or 272,000
children against rotavirus – the two biggest killers of children under age
your help. If you think your company might be interested in becoming GAVI’s
next private partner, let us know. You’ll be joining an elite group of firms
who recognize that investing in life-saving vaccines can provide both
short-term results by saving lives as well as long-term business dividends.