Posts or Comments 30 November 2023

Archive for "Innovation"



Innovation &Invest in Malaria Control &Vaccine &World Malaria Day &Zero Malaria Bill Brieger | 25 Apr 2023

World Malaria Day: Investing in Malaria Vaccines

World Malaria Day 2023 is focusing on three key themes, Investment, Innovation, and Implementation, the 3 I’s. The recently approved malaria vaccines and those still under development embody these themes fully.  They all represent decades of investment in innovation, research, and now implementation.

After extensive several decades of clinical research and three years of field implementation in Ghana, Malawi, and Kenya by the World Health Organization and National Malaria and Immunization Programs, the RTS,S/AS01 malaria vaccine is being rolled out with assistance of GAVI, the Global Vaccine Alliance. During the malaria vaccine implementation program (MVIP) and also based on GAVI’s philosophy for vaccine programs generally, a key strategy was to provide RTS,S as routine immunization services alongside other essential services including a comprehensive package of malaria control and elimination interventions. RTS,S is not only being made available to the three MVIP countries, but as supplies come on board, other falciparum malaria endemic countries have started to apply for supplies and funding through GAVI.

It was well known from the beginning that although RTS,s might be first out the gate, other vaccines would be following closely on its heels. The benefits as well as the efficacy limitations of RTS,S were well known.  Therefore, talk was common for new products being available by 2026. Now in 2023, countries have started to move ahead on another vaccine candidate.

BBC reported that “Ghana is the first country to approve a(nother) new malaria vaccine that has been described as a ‘world-changer’ by the scientists who developed it.” R21 appears to be more effective than its predecessor, so Ghana’s drug regulators moved ahead quickly using final trial data on the vaccine’s safety and effectiveness, which is not even public, to approve it. Interestingly, this move is in parallel to the World Health Organization’s consideration of approving the vaccine.  Shortly thereafter, Nigerian medicine regulators also approved R21. Reuters noted that these “approvals are unusual as they have come before the publication of final-stage trial data for the vaccine.” The actual roll out will ultimately depend on official publication of the safety data and sourcing of funds.

As mentioned above, these malaria vaccines represented considerable investment of time and resources, embody the kind of innovation that is needed to tackle malaria as drug and insecticide resistance threaten progress toward elimination, and require detailed planning right down to the grassroots levels to ensure that a malaria vaccine delivery is part of a comprehensive package of malaria and child health services.

We need to return to the theme of investment. While international organizations, universities, ministries of health, and of course pharmaceutical companies have been investing in developing a safe, effective, and feasible product, these innovative products will not save lives until funds are invested for both purchase and service delivery are guaranteed. GAVI and Partners have put together over $200 million in support for RTS,S implementation for three years. The first window was open in September 2022 for the initial three MVIP countries, and a second window for others, depending on available supplies was open in December 2022.

Investment FOR implementation is a challenging subject because GAVI and collaborating agencies are not a bottomless well of money. What level of national investment by a country to protect its own children is feasible? Is there the national political will to contribute and invest in children in endemic countries, and not continue depending heavily on donors?

Malaria vaccines are a perfect example of what the 3 I’s can achieve. But beyond celebrating this addition to the malaria elimination toolkit, will we also be celebrating commitments by endemic countries of local funds to make zero malaria a reality?

Community &COVID-19 &Infection Prevention &Innovation &Zoonoses Bill Brieger | 10 Sep 2020

Innovate4AMR emphasizes social innovations in resource-limited settings

From Innovate4AMR Team: We are reaching out about Innovate4Health, a global design sprint for student teams to design innovative solutions to address emerging infectious diseases.
This collaborative design sprint grows out of our past two years’ worth of work organizing Innovate4AMR. With COVID-19, we have broadened the scope from drug-resistant infections to tackling urgent challenges and health inequities of emerging infectious diseases. Organized by the ReAct—Action on Antibiotic Resistance, the International Federation of Medical Students’ Associations (IFMSA), and the IDEA (Innovation + Design Enabling Access) Initiative at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Innovate4Health offers student teams the opportunity to join the front lines of the fight against antimicrobial resistance and COVID-19.
This year, student teams are encouraged to innovate around one of three pillars: 1) Ensuring effective prevention and treatment of emerging infectious diseases in the hospital setting; 2) Preventing zoonotic disease transmission in food systems; and 3) Making community health systems more resilient to emerging infectious diseases. We hope that you might pass this along to faculty colleagues at universities and share this opportunity with potentially interested students.
Taking a systems approach, Innovate4Health emphasizes social innovations that consider the needs of resource-limited settings. We are looking for student teams (2-4 students per team) with ideas for innovative solutions. Through the design sprint, teams will work through ideation, implementation, and advocacy strategies to support the adoption of these approaches. The selected teams will work with a team of experts to co-construct their solutions through both recorded and live learning sessions. We invite applications from teams that would be excited to collaborate with other highly talented student teams.
The design sprint will extend over three to four months. We will explore the local context of resource-limited settings through guided tours through virtual healthscapes, from a wet market to a secondary hospital.
Students do not need any previous experience on antimicrobial resistance (AMR) or other emerging infectious diseases. In the competitive application process, we are looking for student teams providing a vision for what they might want to innovate, including the specific problem and context, as well as sharing how they might be positioned to help implement such a project.
At the application stage, however, we do not expect fully developed projects. The design sprint process is intended to help teams develop further their ideas from the application stage. Innocate4AMR have outlined additional information on Innovate4Health on our website. There, you will also find more background information on Innovate4Health, as well as the design sprint timeline, Terms and Conditions, and submission guidelines. Last year, 163 student teams answered our call for Innovate4AMR applications, and ten finalist teams were selected.
The deadline for team applications is Sunday, October 18, 2020. Those selected to participate in the design sprint will go through developing stages of idea refinement, implementation planning, and advocacy planning, after which the best teams will have the opportunity to present to an international panel. We will be releasing additional resources to support teams in developing applications, and interested students can sign up for updates here.
Innovate4AMR would appreciate your help in spreading the word about Innovate4Health. If you or your students have further questions, please write our team at innovate4amr@gmail.com.