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Dear ThinkWell community,

The COVID-19 pandemic has rattled health systems and upended people’s lives around the globe. As the virus spreads into countries where we work, ThinkWell has mobilized to support COVID-19 response efforts. At the same time, we are dedicated to protecting our team’s safety and reducing the virus’s spread.

In collaboration with local and global officials, our experts are helping to not only flatten the curve, but move the needle on this global challenge. This work includes:

  • In Kenya, we are supporting the Council of Governors’ Health Committee to develop cross-sectoral COVID-19 preparedness and response strategies to ensure that essential supplies are available in health facilities, health workers are properly trained, and health facilities have sufficient financial resources. We’re also working to safeguard COVID-19-related economic impacts on Kenya’s most vulnerable communities.
  • In Philippines, we are helping the Department of Health to formulate guidelines for optimizing current and potential capacity for COVID-19 testing at sub-national labs. We are also helping to develop a telehealth program, as part of the COVID-19 response.
  • In Indonesia, at the request of the vice president’s office, we are supporting a hospital medical supply assessment for COVID-19 high-risk areas, collating public hospital payment and liability data, and liaising with private medical suppliers to inform government response efforts. We are also developing a patient screening and treatment flow diagram as part of a COVID-19 public awareness campaign. Finally, one of ThinkWell’s Indonesian health experts has appeared on CNN Indonesia to discuss the pandemic.
  • In Mozambique, the minister of health asked us to help develop a budget request for their COVID-19 response. We are also participating in two COVID-19 national task forces.
  • In Bangladesh, we are helping the Asian Development Bank to prepare a $550 million loan to help with the COVID-19 response.
  • Globally, we are:
    • Supporting an initiative that brings together industry, governments, and multilateral organizations to develop financing and affordability options for potential COVID-19 vaccines and treatments
    • Helping the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to develop selection criteria for small and medium enterprises with potential solutions for COVID-19 and other infectious diseases, as part of the 2020-2021 Growth Stage Impact Ventures for SDGs platform
    • Mapping how innovative finance mechanisms, including impact bonds, can strengthen health systems to respond to future outbreaks, under a contract with a European bilateral for the G20 meeting in November 2020
    • Analyzing potential cost implications of conducting immunization campaigns during COVID-19 to guide donor policymaking

As COVID-19 tests the resilience of health systems, health workers, and communities around the world, ThinkWell remains committed to our vision of achieving long-lasting improvements in health and well-being.

I’m proud and humbled by our teams and all others who are working tirelessly to tackle this crisis. Thank you to everyone who is taking a stand—from individuals who are simply staying home to health workers who are risking their lives on the front lines.

In solidarity,

Yogesh Rajkotia

Founder and CEO

MARCH 19, 2020 – The Immunization Costing Action Network (ICAN) added over 50% more cost data to the Immunization Delivery Cost Catalogue (IDCC). In addition, ICAN’s member countries – Indonesia, Tanzania, and Vietnam – released cost evidence to address challenges at the top of each country’s immunization financing agenda.

The systematic review behind the IDCC aimed to answer the question: What are the unit costs of vaccine delivery across different LMICs and through a variety of delivery strategies? The review considered over 17,000 resources published between January 2005 and March 2019. This included 68 articles with cost data on a variety of vaccines, delivery strategies, types of cost analysis, and contextual settings.

A descriptive and gap analysis of the existing data is available in the summary report, along with nine cost ranges that summarize the global evidence on the incremental costs of introducing single vaccines, and the costs of delivering a schedule of vaccines. To better understand the methodology employed for the systematic review and cost analytics effort, consult the updated methodology note.

Newly released, policy-oriented findings from ICAN’s member countries – Indonesia, Tanzania, and Vietnam – provide evidence to address challenges at the top of each country’s immunization financing agenda:

  • Indonesia: What are the costs of delivering vaccines using different delivery strategies in high coverage areas? The study found that school delivery was least costly, followed by outreach, primarily due to high volumes. Facility-based delivery was most costly due to low volumes.
  • Tanzania: What does it cost to immunize children up to 18 months of age using the current mix of delivery strategies in rural and urban areas? The study found the cost per dose was lowest at rural facilities with nomads in their catchment population, followed by urban facilities, and then rural facilities without nomads. Outreach delivery is more than three times as expensive as facility-based delivery, but the magnitude of the difference varies immensely by geography.
  • Vietnam: What are the costs associated with introducing Tetanus-Diphtheria (Td) vaccine and ceasing delivery of Tetanus-Typhoid (TT) vaccine? The study found school-based delivery to be cheapest and outreach and campaign delivery to be most expensive. When compared with the cost of the current TT program from 2018-2025, the findings showed that a cost saving of US$6.9 million could be realized if introducing Td in schools, compared with a cost saving of US$4.2 million for facility-based introduction. An additional cost of US$2.3 million would be incurred over that period if a combination of facility and outreach delivery would be used.

Learn more about these country studies.

About the ICAN

With technical facilitation by ThinkWell and John Snow, Inc. (JSI), the Immunization Costing Action Network (ICAN) was a project supported by a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. From 2016 to 2019, the ICAN focused on increasing the visibility, availability, understanding, and use of data on the cost of delivering vaccines. ICAN aimed to build country capacity around generation and use of cost information to work towards sustainable and predictable financing for vaccine delivery. See http://immunizationeconomics.org/ican for more information.

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