In the ever changing world of public health with its dependence on political favour, the focus on devasting neglected tropical diseases, which only affect low-income countries, is increasingly being directed to more high profile areas of public health. In order to keep the focus on diseases of poverty and neglected diseases, advocacy is needed from the initiatives/groups etc. who are directly involved with trying to alleviate this insufferable burden.
EVI, which has for many years, been a member of the Malaria Vaccine Funders Group, has recently joined two other advocacy groups involved in creating informed awareness at the European Commission and other funding institutions.
The Malaria Vaccine Funders Group - having a joint vision for a major contribution to a world free from malaria morbidity and mortality through vaccination - has its origins in discussions among representatives from WHO, USAID, the EC and EVI at a meeting in The Gambia and in subsequent meetings in Washington, Brussels and Geneva during the last decade of the 20th century. In 2001, the discussion was expanded to the newly formed Malaria Vaccine Initiative at PATH (MVI), and several additional members were added to the group. The Malaria Vaccine Funders Group was established in order to exchange information and opinions between internationally active funding bodies for malaria vaccine development with the hope that progress can be accelerated. The group's work aims at facilitating the coordination of vaccine research activities by defining and making use of synergies between ongoing and planned programmes/activities, structuring and prioritising vaccine research efforts, thereby reducing unnecessary overlaps and identifying areas of research needs where support can be assembled in a complementary manner.
The Initiative for Vaccine Research (IVR) of the World Health Organization acts as the secretariat of this group; coordinating agendas and outcomes of each meeting with all group members. Meetings represent the fora for Funders to discuss opportunities and challenges that are best addressed jointly, for identification of synergies and for the development of joint activities/measures, if appropriate and feasible.
The Malaria Vaccine Funders Group aims to hold its meetings twice a year. On a day-to-day basis or when needed members organise consultations or other processes jointly with other members of the Funders Group. The Funders Group meetings are also used as a way to share the results of recent consultations organised by individual Funders.
The provision of funds by these organizations is not limited to regions or countries; the organisations fulfil donor but not investigator roles; the focus of the group lies in the development of new vaccines and associated technologies; capacity strengthening is supported as required for the development of the new vaccines.
MVFG produced a White Paper in 2008 entitled Rational Design of Children’s Malaria Vaccines.
The members of MVFG are as follows:
Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF )
European Commission (EC )
European and Developing Countries' Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP )
European Vaccine Initiative
The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) Extramural Malaria Program
Malaria Vaccine Initiative (MVI ) at Program for Appropriate Technology in Health (with whom EVI has signed a Memorandum of Understanding)
United States Agency for International Development (USAID ), with whom EVI has signed a Memorandum of Understanding
World Health Organization, IVR (WHO), with whom EVI has signed a Memorandum of Intent
RBM was launched in 1998 by WHO, UNICEF, UNDP and the World Bank, in an effort to provide a coordinated global response to malaria. It mobilises for action and resources and forges consensus among partners. The Partnership is comprised of more than 500 partners organised in eight constituencies,.including malaria endemic countries, their bilateral and multilateral development partners, the private sector, non-governmental and community-based organisations, foundations, and research and academic institutions.