As a global health community… we need to know who the innovators are, so that the most powerful ideas spread far and wide.
Starting in 2012, the Gates Foundation will bestow an award on the individual or team that has made the most uniquely innovative contribution to the Decade of Vaccines.
Hundreds of thousands of lives each year could be saved by improved access to vaccines. Vaccines are cost-effective, safe, and proven to protect children from disease.
The winner of the 2013 Gates Vaccine Innovation Award was announced in Bill Gates' 2013 annual letter. The Award recognizes the work of Ms. Margarida Matsinhe, a field officer for VillageReach, a nonprofit working to improve health care and immunization coverage in Mozambique.
Continued innovation is essential to overcoming persistent challenges in reaching more children with vaccines.
From 2012-2014, the Gates Foundation accepted nominations from around the world to identify people and organizations doing exceptional work to improve immunization rates.
The Gates Vaccine Innovation Award winners were:
- 2012 - Dr. Asm Amjad Hossain, a former district immunization and surveillance medical officer in Bangladesh, whose implementation of an innovative approach to routine immunization provided thousands of children with access to life-saving vaccines.
- 2013 - Margarida Matsinhe, a Mozambique-based field officer for VillageReach, a social enterprise that works to increase access to healthcare for underserved communities.
- 2014 - Agence de Médecine Préventive (AMP) in recognition of EPIVAC, an on-the-job training program for district medical officers to improve immunization program performance in 11 Francophone African countries.
The winner of the first Gates Vaccine Innovation Award was announced in Bill Gates' 2012 annual letter. The 2012 Award recognizes the work of Dr. Asm Amjad Hossain, a former district immunization and surveillance medical officer in Bangladesh.
The Gates Vaccine Innovation Award celebrated revolutionary ways children in the poorest parts of the world are immunized. The winning innovations were recognized with a US $250,000 prize.
The Gates Vaccine Innovation Award was open to individuals from any discipline. Candidates from academic institutions, governments, health care facilities, research institutions, non-profit organizations and for-profit companies were eligible for nomination.
We recognize that innovation in the delivery of vaccines can take many shapes. We looked for ideas big or small that have resulted in tangible improvements in immunization coverage in developing country communities.
"Vaccines protect children for a lifetime from debilitating diseases. By improving health programs at the local level, EPIVAC is helping ensure children receive the life-saving vaccines they need." Melinda Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Nominees were assessed on three broad criteria:
- Developing country impact – The nominee had contributed to the prevention, control, or elimination of vaccine-preventable disease through significant improvements in immunization quality and coverage among mothers and children in developing countries.
- Innovation and creativity – The nominee had applied imaginative and pioneering approaches to overcome difficult challenges to immunizing children and achieving impact. Innovation is not the same as invention. Even simple ideas applied in creative ways to overcome real-world challenges can be considered innovative.
- Scale – The nominee's innovation had been applied at scale or suitable to be implemented at scale within the nominee's country and around the world.