For Immediate Release
Global Fund for Childrens Vaccines
(French speaking receptionist)
Bill & Melinda Gates Childrens Vaccine Program at
Seattle, Washington, USA
(English speaking receptionist)
FOR CHILDRENS VACCINES
and United Kingdom Join Effort
with Major Donations to Help
Immunize the Worlds Children
(Lyon, France and Seattle, Washington, USA)
Jacques-François Martin has been named president of
the Vaccine Fund for Childrens Vaccines. The Vaccine Fund provides
lifesaving vaccines and other immunization program support to low-income
countries. Launched in 1999 with a $750 million grant from the Bill
& Melinda Gates Foundation, the Vaccine Fund works in close collaboration
with the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunizations (GAVI)
a partnership of key international agencies and national governments.
Mr. Martins appointment comes on the heels
of two major donations to the Vaccine Fund. Norwegian Prime Minister Jens
Stoltenberg announced recently that his government would contribute
1 billion kroner, approximately $125 million, to the Vaccine Fund over the
next five years. The United Kingdom also pledged 3 million pounds
($5 million) for the current year.
The Norwegian and British commitments represent
the first major sources of funding from national governments. The
Clinton Administration has asked Congress for $50 million this year
to support the effort.
Mr. Martin, currently Chairman and CEO of Parteurop,
a biotech consulting company, will lead the effort to increase Fund
resources to $1.8 billion over the next five years. An estimated
3 million lives are lost each year to vaccine-preventable diseases.
Most of them are children from the worlds poorest countries.
"This is an exciting time to be joining
the Vaccine Fund," said Mr. Martin. "I am hopeful that the recent
financial commitments from Norway and the United Kingdom will energize
our efforts and encourage others to step forward."
"I am pleased to welcome Jacques-François
to the Vaccine Fund," said Dr. Gordon Perkin, Secretary of
the Vaccine Fund and Director of the Global Health Program at the Bill &
Melinda Gates Foundation "We could not have found a more capable
and committed leader to steer our course."
The need for additional immunization resources
is clear. Dr. Gro Harlem Brundtland, Director-General of the World
Health Organization (WHO) and Chair of the GAVI Board, articulated,
"More than one-quarter of children born each year in low-income
countries have not been receiving basic immunization. The time has
come to solve this serious global health problem and reduce the
three million deaths every year from vaccine-preventable diseases.
Over the past two decades we've learned important lessons about
immunization strategies both good and bad that we
will now use to set a new course for improving health outcomes for
all the world's children."
Mr. Martin has a long history in biotechnology
and public health. He was CEO of Rhone-Poulenc Pharma in Hamburg,
Germany before joining Institut Mérieux as vice-president
of sales and marketing in 1976. He became CEO of Pasteur-Mérieux
in 1998, where he was instrumental in the merger with Connaught
Laboratories Ltd in Toronto. In 1991, he set up Parteurop and became
a senior consultant to Chiron and to the biotech industry. From
1996 to 1999, Mr.Martin was a member of the board of the French
Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale.
He currently is a member of the GAVI Working Group and the Strategic
Advisory Council of the Bill & Melinda Gates Childrens
Vaccine Program and is a board member of the International AIDS
GAVI and Fund website: www.vaccinealliance.org
The Vaccine Fund, a new financing resource that
was created with an initial $750 million grant from the Bill &
Melinda Gates Foundation, is now also receiving support from donor
governments. The Vaccine Fund provides financial support directly to low-income
countries to strengthen their immunization services and to purchase
new and under-used vaccines. In the future, Fund resources may also
be used to accelerate the development of vaccines for diseases responsible
for significant mortality in developing countries, such as HIV/AIDS,
tuberculosis, malaria, and acute respiratory diseases. While the
Vaccine Fund has its own Board and management for fiduciary and fundraising
responsibilities, decisions about programs to receive support will
be made by the GAVI Board.
The Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization
(GAVI) is a coalition of organizations formed in 1999 in response
to stagnating global immunization rates and widening disparities
in vaccine access among industrialized and developing countries.
The partners include: national governments, the Bill & Melinda
Gates Children's Vaccine Program, the International Federation of
Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Associations (IFPMA), research and
public health institutions, the Rockefeller Foundation, the United
Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), the World Bank Group and the World
Health Organization (WHO).