Immunization programs save hundreds of thousands of lives in the developing world, and the introduction of new vaccines will save millions more. As new, more expensive vaccines enter the global market, however, many developing countries are struggling to finance their immunization programs. To address this growing challenge, the Sabin Vaccine Institute has launched its latest initiative: the Advocacy Project for Sustainable Immunization Financing.

Funded by a generous grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Advocacy Project concentrates its efforts in 12 African countries: Senegal, Mali, Cameroon, Rwanda, DRC, Mozambique, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Kenya, Uganda, and Ethiopia, and three Asian countries: Nepal, Cambodia, and Sri Lanka.

The Advocacy Project is now recruiting a team of global public health advocates and fiscal management experts who will serve as in-country liaisons to ministries of health and finance, parliaments, civil society organizations, private businesses, and the public sector. In each country, team members will strive to strengthen communication and collaboration among these domestic stakeholders and Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunizations (GAVI) partners (WHO, UNICEF, World Bank, and others) who currently finance national immunization systems. The purely agency role and collective action approach are two innovative features of the Advocacy Project. The ultimate goal is to assist each country in opening more fiscal space for immunizations, which will mean securing new, diverse long-term funding sources. Sustainability is assured when each country is meeting all immunization costs through some combination of long-term domestic and external funding. The Advocacy Project expects the 15 countries to have reached this goal by 2015.

Visit the Sustainable Immunization Financing Project page on the Sabin website to learn more about the Advocacy Project.