Got vaccines? Got life!

The people behind the partnership

Got vaccines? Got life!

The people behind the partnership

Closer collaboration between Gavi and The Global Fund in Burkina Faso is making every development dollar count

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Dr Jean-Thomas Nouboussi, Global Fund Portfolio Manager

"We have always planned things together but our collaboration now goes much further. We work closely to coordinate support, field missions and capacity-building."

Ahawo Komi M. Alain, Gavi Country Manager

"When we visited Ouahigouya health centre together to see an mHealth tool monitoring childhood illness, we both had the same idea. The tool could be used to collect vaccination data."

Dr Issa Ouedraogo, EPI Director, Burkina Faso

"Collaboration avoids duplication in resource allocation. It means more people have greater access to health facilities and a better quality of care."


Gavi’s Ahawo Komi M. Alain and Dr Jean-Thomas Nouboussi of The Global Fund (TGF) share a common task. Each manages their organisation’s investments in improving the health services in Burkina Faso. Gavi focuses on immunisation. TGF targets the end of HIV, malaria and tuberculosis.

While Alain and Jean-Thomas have always worked together to prevent overlap, their collaboration has moved beyond joint planning in Geneva to on-the-ground coordination in Ouagadougou. As well as sharing similar roles, they now synchronise country visits, field trips, support – and innovation. Thanks to a joint visit to a health clinic, Gavi and TGF are currently planning to co-fund the expansion of the mhealth project that allows Burkina Faso’s health ministry to use digital tablets both to improve national data collection and to strengthen the health information system.

Making every development dollar count is critical for Burkina Faso. Since 2002, coverage with basic childhood vaccines has risen from 69% to an impressive 91%, but the country remains one of the poorest in the world.

Voices from Gavi, TGF and the Health Ministry explain four areas where collaboration is supporting Burkina Faso’s health agenda.



Despite an impressive 91% immunisation coverage rate, Burkina Faso is struggling to meet its long-term commitment to allocate 15% of the national budget to health, in line with the African Union’s ‘Africa Scorecard on Domestic Financing for Health’ agreed in 2016. In 2017, the country spent 10% and continues to rely heavily on investments from development organisations such as Gavi and TGF.

Funding from Gavi, TGF and the World Bank, already earmarked for specific programmes, is managed through the PADS (Programme d’Appui au Developpment Sanitaire).

How will Gavi-TGF collaboration improve the allocation of health funds?

Professor Pascal Niamba, President of CCM Burkina (Global Fund)

"Both entities work to strengthen the health system to garner victories on the ground and improve the population’s health. It is about pooling our efforts and ensuring that the implementation structures are optimal. We are already doing joint field visits."

Professor Nicolas Meda, Minister of Health, Burkina Faso

"Collaboration saves time for our teams, as it allows for common reporting on health indicators and convergence of guidelines. We are currently implementing their joint recommendations to secure vaccines and cold chain equipment as well as other public health activities."



Around 90% of Burkina Faso’s children receive three doses of basic childhood vaccines. The challenge is reaching the remaining 10%. Many of the children missing out live in remote areas, beyond the reach of health and education services because of Burkina Faso’s heavy rains. Civil conflict has also forced many schools and health centres in the north and east of the country to close.

How do Gavi and TGF work to reach unvaccinated children?

Abdoul Karim Ouedraogo, Coordinator of the Support Program for Sanitary Development

"Prior to 2018, we had overlapping fund allocations. From now on, their investments are synchronised and complement each other.

For example, the Global Fund supports almost 18,000 community-based health workers in Burkina Faso, as well as 263 community-based organisations that help improve health care, especially in rural areas. Part of their job is to raise awareness about vaccination, identify children who do not have immunisation cards, and help the EPI search for the lost children.

Gavi meanwhile, has equipped all the health centres with motorcycles, allowing health workers to vaccinate more than five kilometres from their medical facilities. The health centres also use these bikes for other activities that may improve health care.

We will not save children from malaria only to see them die of diseases that can be prevented by vaccination!"



In Burkina Faso’s large cities, health centres increasingly use computerised health records and digital data. In rural areas, most health centres still rely on paper records, and have limited internet access. It takes up a lot of valuable resources to consolidate, process and analyse these records.

How is Burkina Faso working with partners to harmonise its health data?

Ahawo Komi M. Alain, Gavi Country Manager, Burkina Faso

"When we visited Ouahigouya health centre together last February to see an mHealth tool monitoring childhood illness, we both had the same idea. The tool could be used to collect vaccination data."

Professor Pascal Niamba, President of CCM Burkina (Global Fund)

"Together we are finalising a project that will use digital tablets to improve national data collection and strengthen the health information system. This will help healthcare professionals base decisions on reliable indicators, and implement optimal strategies. Ultimately, the health system will be strengthened."



Burkina Faso has a fragmented electricity network. Just 3% of buildings in rural areas are connected to mains electricity and power cuts are frequent and long lasting. It takes money, technical expertise and time to connect cold chain equipment to the network and ensure power outages do not threaten vaccine efficiency. To help bridge the gap, Burkina Faso is looking to innovative approaches like solar power.

With more than 3,000 hours of sunshine each year, averaging around 8 hours each day, Burkina Faso plans to derive 30% of its national electricity consumption from solar power by 2025-2030.

How will Burkina Faso leverage solar power to strengthen its cold chain?

Professor Nicolas Meda, Minister of Health, Burkina Faso

"Burkina has an average vaccination coverage rate of 90%. But we do not have 90% efficiency because we still have to improve the cold chain. With Gavi and the Global Fund, we are working to make the cold chain more efficient and reliable with solar-powered equipment. This will benefit all health centres."

Abdou Diallo, medical nurse at the Tanghin Dassouri Medical Center, 30km from the capital city Ouagadougou.

"We take the necessary concerns in the event of a power outage, but solar power is much more logical, financially and technically."

Immunisation in Burkina Faso: facts and figures

Key achievements:

  • One of the highest immunisation coverage rates in West Africa
  • Elimination of antenatal tetanus in 2012 and polio in 2016
  • Since meningitis A vaccine introduced in 2016, deadly meningitis A outbreaks have stopped
  • No major measles outbreak since 2006
  • Excellent community mobilisation for immunisation with nationwide civil society organisation (SPONG) supporting and training community health workers to create health awareness
  • Strong political commitment to immunisation with a yearly increase in health budget

How Gavi and The Global Fund collaborate

Despite their distinct missions, Gavi and The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Malaria and Tuberculosis (TGF) encourage collaboration provided it adds significant value. This can include sharing knowledge and lessons learned, aligning policy guidance, strengthening data and coordinating investments.

Gavi Country Managers and Global Fund Portfolio Managers regularly meet to exchange information and coordinate support. This has inspired joint missions to Afghanistan, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Eritrea, Guinea-Buissau and Niger.

Elsewhere, Senegal TGF and Gavi jointly strengthened the capacity of the Health Ministry to manage their funding support, while both organisations use the same fiduciary agent in Madagascar. In Guinea, TGF and Gavi work together to harmonise programmatic support.

Since June 2018, Gavi and TGF share a common base – the Global Health Campus, a centre of excellence set up by the Swiss Government in Geneva to foster collaboration between some of the world’s leading global health organisations.