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Gavi Receives US$ 5 Million from The Rockefeller Foundation to Support Health Workers Facing Covid-19 Pandemic

  • Support will promote the adaption and scale-up of innovative approaches to empower health workers responding to the pandemic and continuing immunization services.
  • Focuses on leveraging digital technologies – such as mobile phone applications, artificial intelligence, and gamification – to transform health workers’ learning, training, and performance monitoring.
  • Covid-19 crisis intensifies the urgency to scale new solutions for health workforce development in Gavi-supported countries.

Geneva, 1 June 2020—Through a US$ 5 million investment in Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, The Rockefeller Foundation has committed to strengthening the critical role frontline health workers play in delivering immunization services in Gavi-supported countries by providing digital tools and innovative information-sharing approaches that help them improve equitable access to life-saving vaccines.

Frontline health workers are critical to ensure that good quality primary health care and immunization services are continuously available throughout the pandemic. In this current situation of additional strain on countries’ health systems, frontline health workers are frequently in short supply and lack the resources to deal with additional tasks such as detecting, preventing, and treating Covid-19 cases and ally caregivers’ fears to safeguard the public trust in immunization services.

“Frontline workers at the local community level deliver the essential vaccines and other services people need to live healthy lives,” said Dr. Seth Berkley, CEO of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance. “In many Gavi-supported countries, these workers are too often overtaxed and under-equipped with the knowledge and tools to deliver care, and the Covid-19 crisis is in many places making that problem far worse. This collaboration with The Rockefeller Foundation has the potential to help Gavi accelerate the availability and adoption of innovations, from health and other sectors, that will provide these health workers the adequate training and support they need to face these challenging times.”

This partnership aims to support the rapid implementation of innovative solutions, leverage new partners, generate insights, and build a strategy to improve health workforce development and performance in Gavi-supported countries. It will explore how best to use digital technologies – such as mobile phone applications, A.I. (e.g., chatbots), and gamification—to transform health workers’ learning, training, and performance monitoring.

Starting with the deployment of rapid funding to address the current crisis, Gavi and The Rockefeller Foundation are working together to transform the way frontline health workers, nurses, vaccinations, and community health workers, deliver critical immunization services. By scaling the development and deployment of innovative solutions we can empower health workers to improve the quality of their work, protecting children against vaccine-preventable diseases such as measles, diphtheria, polio, or yellow fever.

“The global pandemic is already redefining the delivery of health services, making the use of innovation and digital technologies even more critical,” said Dr. Rajiv J. Shah, President of The Rockefeller Foundation. “We recognize Gavi’s efforts in strengthening health systems and making sure frontline health workers are prepared to face these new challenges. We are looking forward to working together and contribute to closing the health inequity gap.”

Funding from The Rockefeller Foundation will support improving how health workers, supervisors, communities, and caregivers acquire the knowledge they can use to improve the quality of care.

In preparation for its next strategic period starting in 2021, Gavi has placed a special emphasis on learning and performance management of health workers in countries it supports. The Covid-19 pandemic has intensified the urgency of these efforts, as health workers, particularly in countries where resources are scarce, respond to the crisis while trying to continue their routine work.

About Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance

Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance is a public-private partnership that helps vaccinate half the world’s children against some of the world’s deadliest diseases. Since its inception in 2000, Gavi has helped to immunize a whole generation – over 760 million children – and prevented more than 13 million deaths, helping to halve child mortality in 73 developing countries. Gavi also plays a key role in improving global health security by supporting health systems as well as funding global stockpiles for Ebola, cholera, meningitis and yellow fever vaccines.  After two decades of progress, Gavi is now focused on protecting the next generation and reaching the unvaccinated children still being left behind, employing innovative finance and the latest technology – from drones to biometrics – to save millions more lives, prevent outbreaks before they can spread and help countries on the road to self-sufficiency. Learn more at and connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.

The Vaccine Alliance brings together developing country and donor governments, the World Health Organization, UNICEF, the World Bank, the vaccine industry, technical agencies, civil society, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and other private sector partners. View the full list of donor governments and other leading organizations that fund Gavi’s work here.

About The Rockefeller Foundation

The Rockefeller Foundation’s mission – unchanged since 1913 – is to promote the well-being of humanity throughout the world. Today the Foundation advances new frontiers of science, policy, and innovation to solve global challenges related to health, food, power, and economic mobility. As a science-driven philanthropy focused on building collaborative relationships with partners and grantees, The Rockefeller Foundation seeks to inspire and foster large-scale human impact by identifying and accelerating breakthrough solutions, ideas, and conversations. In health, The Rockefeller Foundation has been working to improve global public health for more than a century – from eradicating hookworm in the American South, to launching the field of public health, to seeding the development of the life-saving yellow fever vaccine. The Foundation’s Precision Public Health initiative aims to empower community health systems and frontline health workers with the latest digital innovations – including more accurate and precise decision-making tools based on predictive analytics, artificial intelligence, and machine learning. For more information, sign up for our newsletter at and follow us on Twitter at @RockefellerFdn.

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