His Highness General Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi
The Crown Prince is a leading champion in the Middle East for improving child health. He is making sure children in Afghanistan and Pakistan receive the polio vaccine, and he's investing in strengthening immunisation systems in both countries. In April 2013, he co-hosted the Global Vaccine Summit in Abu Dhabi, where $4bn was raised to finish the job on polio eradication and protect children everywhere from preventable diseases.
Dr Agnes Binagwaho, Rwandan minister of health
Thanks in part to minister Binagwaho's leadership, Rwanda's vaccination coverage rates for many diseases exceed those in the US. Since 2000, child mortality is down by two-thirds. In 2012, Dr Binagwaho greeted a rotavirus vaccine shipment at Kigali's airport, celebrating that Rwanda was the first country in east and southern Africa to introduce the vaccine. Binagwaho proves that strong leaders can make sure their people receive excellent healthcare.
These two young teenagers starred in the 2013 documentary,Revolutionary optimists, which shows how some of the poorest communities in India mobilised to vaccinate every single child against polio. Last year, I interviewed Salim and Sikha, and I was blown away by how much they'd already accomplished – and by how ambitious they were about the many things youth advocates could do to make their communities better.
Dr Margaret Chan, director-general of the World Health Organisation
Dr Chan put immunisation on top of the global health agenda. She drove the global vaccine action plan, a roadmap for getting all children the vaccines they need by 2020. The plan includes commitments to end polio, strengthen routine immunisation and increase pharmaceutical company contributions to the global vaccine supply, which will help make vaccines cheaper. The WHO recently approved a Chinese-manufactured vaccine for Japanese encephalitis for the first time.
Africa's richest man is using his fortune and his business networks to improve public health in the continent's most populous country. He's working with our foundation and the Nigerian government to increase immunisation coverage and achieve polio eradication in his home country, one of just three where the disease is still endemic.
India's leading innovation consulting firm is making sure that immunisation systems work for the people who use them. CSK conducted the research that led to records for life, a contest to redesign a country's childhood immunisation card. Its Bihar Innovation Lab is now beginning to test new designs in Bihar state, informed by both the records for life process and their prior work. Like the simple checklists that have improved emergency care in many hospitals, new immunisation cards that are durable and include additional critical information are a basic innovation that will benefit millions of children.
Margarida Matsinhe, field officer, Village Reach and Gates Foundation vaccine innovation award winner, 2013
Margarida Matsinhe, helped overhaul Mozambique's immunisation system by focusing on the seemingly mundane problem of logistics. Her tireless focus on the basics vastly improved the system for keeping vaccines cold from 40% of the time to 96% of the time. The monthly incidence of rural health centres not having life-saving vaccines in stock dropped from a staggering 80% to 1%.
The Gavi Alliance is fighting inequity by helping ensure new and underused vaccines are available to – and affordable for – the countries that need them most. Since its creation Gavi has reached 440 million children in 73 countries with life-saving vaccines they need. Later this year, the pentavalent vaccine – a single vaccine that protects against five major childhood diseases (hepatitis B, Haemophilus influenzae type b, diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis) will be introduced in the last Gavi country that doesn't use it. In these countries, where it can be hard to reach children, combining multiple vaccines into one is a simple innovation that saves lives. By 2020, the Gavi Alliance estimates that pentavalent vaccines will avert more than 7 million deaths.