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Suvita

Image: Pippa Ranger, Innovation Advisor, DFID

Vaccines prevent disease, save lives and produce social and economic benefits.

Vaccinations are one of our greatest public health successes to date, averting 2-3 million child deaths every year.

 

They are one of the most cost-effective and evidence-based medical interventions available, responsible for a huge reduction in the global burden of infectious diseases.

 

Vaccines also bring social and economic benefits for individuals and society, such as:

  • Saving medical treatment costs
  • Averting losses in income or productivity

Experts estimate that every $1 invested in expanding immunisation

returns $60 in social, economic and environmental benefits.

Yet routine vaccines still do not reach everyone.

Globally, one child dies every minute from a vaccine-preventable disease. This is because 19 million children fail to receive their basic vaccinations before their first birthday each year. At Suvita, we believe that this is unacceptable.

Vaccination coverage varies widely between and within countries, so certain regions bear a much greater load than others when it comes to vaccine-preventable diseases. Half of the world’s undervaccinated children are in India. The country suffers the death of one child every four minutes as a result. This is particularly shocking given India’s early contributions to vaccine research and development and its current position as a leading global producer of vaccines.

Our approach

Suvita implements a rigorously tested solution which increases demand for vaccinations in India by appointing carefully selected volunteer immunisation ambassadors, who share information with new parents within their community about local vaccine clinics.

1

Survey members of a community to identify opinion leaders

2

Invite opinion leaders to volunteer as immunisation ambassadors

3

Keep ambassadors updated regularly with details of local monthly immunisation clinics by SMS and phone calls

4

Ambassadors share this information with relevant members of their communities

5

Caregivers are reminded to bring infants to free, government-provided vaccination clinics

6

Babies are protected from deadly diseases and others are also protected via herd immunity

Why have we chosen this method?

Impactful

Cost-effective

Evidence-based

This method is supported by high-quality, recent, local evidence from Haryana, India.

A large-scale randomised controlled trial, conducted by a team from MIT's Poverty Action Lab including two recent Nobel laureates - Esther Duflo and Abhijeet Banerjee - found that this method significantly increased the number of children attending government-run immunisation camps by 22%.

Find out more here (study summary), here (study publication) and here (summary of soon-to-be-published larger study which compared this method to others).