A recent Guardian article has showcased the research, technical innovation and knowledge-sharing partnership between the UK Government and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation that is aimed at transforming the lives of the world’s poorest people.
The Gates Foundation invests more than £350m a year in global health research and has contributed over £370m in agricultural R&D since 2008. The UK Government spends over £90m a year on global health research and a further £80m on agriculture R&D.
“Today, we believe that the governments and philanthropists of the developed world have a similar role to play in correcting market failures that mean the public goods needed most are not being developed,” wrote Sue Desmond-Hellmann, CEO of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and Nick Hurd, the International Development Minister for the UK Department for International Development.
GALVmed, which is funded by both the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the UK Government, has, through its partners, created an East Coast Fever (ECF) vaccine distribution network in East Africa. This collaboration is an example of the way in which public-private partnerships can create vibrant, sustainable markets. Since GALVmed and its partners began scale-up of manufacturing and distribution of the one-shot-for-life Muguga Cocktail ECF vaccine in 2009, over 1.4m vaccine doses have been sold and $100m worth of livestock saved. Tick-borne disease, ECF, is the biggest killer of cattle in 11 countries in sub-Saharan Africa.
GALVmed partner, the Nairobi-based ILRI, initially developed the infection and treatment method vaccine with its predecessor the International Laboratory for Research on Animal Diseases and the Kenya Agricultural Research Institute. ILRI was also involved in the knowledge transfer of the vaccine to the African Union Centre for Ticks and Tick-borne Diseases (CTTBD) in Malawi. CTTBD is now the sole producer of the one-shot-for-life ECF vaccine.