GAVI Alliance to address the next vaccine challenge: Supply chains

Friday, September 27, 2013

No one likes it when a delivery fails to show, but when it happens with vaccines it costs lives.

Currently, millions of children go unimmunized each year because of delivery problems, including anything from vaccine supply chain breaks and ineffective cold chain equipment to poor vaccine stock management in developing countries. Shockingly, these kinds of issues account for a substantial number of the children who miss out on their shots.

That has got to change. These supply chain inefficiencies may be contributing to the deaths of 1.5 million children each year from vaccine-preventable diseases, the vast majority in developing countries.

Without the protection of vaccines, children in developing countries are at risk from diseases like measles, meningitis A, pneumonia, rotavirus, hepatitis B, yellow fever and polio. And of those that are fortunate enough to escape death after contracting such a disease, many are still left with debilitating consequences.

Indeed, the economic and social impact of caring for children and adults who have been debilitated by disease is huge: education is often not completed, parents are tipped into poverty, labor productivity remains low and long-term health costs skyrocket.

Common challenges within the vaccine delivery chain include weak information systems, outdated processes and a lack of “cold chain” infrastructure (storage and transport of vaccines), often in dire conditions.

Source: Devex (link opens in a new window)

Health Care
infectious diseases, public health