Statement by Dr Jacqueline Bell, IFRC, at the 65th World Health Assembly, in Geneva
Ladies and gentlemen,
We, the IFRC and on behalf of the Civil Society Constituency of the GAVI Alliance, are committed to working hand-in-hand with all immunization stakeholders and partners to contribute towards every child being vaccinated against vaccine-preventable diseases.
We firmly believe that immunization is key to achieving Millennium Development Goal #4, and that we as civil society will help the world to reach this goal. To be immunized against vaccine preventable diseases is a human right for all.
We fully support the Decade of Vaccines Collaboration and the Global Vaccine Action Plan. As we move from inspiration to operation in the GVAP, we would ask all 194 member states to take action on the following four points.
First, with our long history of extending the equitable reach of public health services, CSOs in many countries deliver up to 60% of immunization services. The roles of CSOs at the global and country level are many, and should be supported as part of comprehensive immunization programmes.
The current GVAP cost projections do not include the resources needed by CSOs to support implementation of the Action Plan. We urge next steps to include a full costing of all stakeholders’ roles, including that of CSOs.
Second, as the GVAP moves from an inspirational road map to an operational plan, we call for transparency and inclusivity in discussions and decision-making processes at the global and country level.
Third, CSOs call for the promotion of local capacity in development and production of vaccines, helping to broaden the pool of manufacturers in developing countries. We urge major vaccine purchasers – GAVI, PAHO and ministries of health – to ensure that their procurement practices stimulate competition whenever possible as this has proven to bring prices down to sustainable levels.
Fourth, acknowledging that significant work must still be done to optimize coverage with EPI vaccines, we urge partners to accelerate the development and introduction of appropriate and easier-to-use vaccines for developing country contexts. Making immunization services more accessible and equitable requires better, more cost-effective products and innovative delivery strategies.
The implementation of the GVAP is feasible and we fully support it. As the Red Cross Red Crescent and Civil Society, we will continue to reach out one house at a time to every family, every child.