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Grand Challenges is a family of initiatives fostering innovation to solve key global health and development problems. Each initiative is an experiment in the use of challenges to focus innovation on making an impact. Individual challenges address some of the same problems, but from differing perspectives.


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Challenges: Immunization Systems
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Hydroelectric Power for Cold Chain

Anthony Battersby, River Energy Networks (Bath, Avon, United Kingdom)
Nov 1, 2012

Anthony Battersby of River Energy Networks in the United Kingdom will develop and field test a simple inexpensive micro-hydroturbine that can drive a generator to power vaccine refrigerators and other health care facility equipment. Proof-of-concept models will be tested in Nigeria using components designed for simplicity and reliability.

A Buddy Program for Immunisation System Managers

Ben Gilbert, University of Canberra (Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia)
Oct 24, 2012

Ben Gilbert and Andrew Brown of the University of Canberra in Australia will develop a regional support network for medical supply managers in Pacific Island countries that can help them to better apply the formal training they received to manage vaccine supply systems. By engaging them in a buddy support system, Gilbert and Brown hope to empower these managers to overcome cultural, educational, social and historical factors that hinder effective management styles, and help them operate supply systems that are more responsive to immunization challenges in those developing countries.

Creating a Decision Aid to Better Forecast Vaccine Delivery

Roger Miller, Logistics Management Institute (McLean, Virginia, United States)
Oct 22, 2012

Roger Miller and colleagues at the Logistics Management Institute in the U.S. propose to develop a software-based prototype modeling tool that allows vaccine program managers to lower total delivered costs by analyzing all of the clinical and logistical factors that determine the cost per viable vaccine dose administered. The prototype could be developed as a fully deployable software product with associated training, reporting, and analysis capability.

A Passive Solar Thermal Standard for Vaccine Storage Rooms

Loriana Dembele, Eau et Vie - Ji Duma (Bamako, Mali)
Oct 18, 2012

Loriana Dembele of Eau et Vie Ji-Duma in Mali proposes to develop new architectural and construction guidelines for vaccine storage rooms in hot climates that incorporate passive solar thermal technologies to keep vaccines at recommended temperatures. The team will construct and test prototype storage facilities to determine new standards that prevent vaccine spoilage, reduce operating costs, and improve refrigeration capabilities.

Leveraging Literacy Initiatives to Improve Vaccine Acceptance

Mira Johri, Centre de recherche du Centre Hospitalier de l'Universite de Montreal (CRCHUM) (Montreal, Québec, Canada)
Oct 15, 2012

Mira Johri of the University of Montreal Hospital and colleagues from Pratham Education Foundation in India propose to develop effective methods for health education in low-literacy communities to enable less educated women and families to understand the purpose of vaccinating children and the benefits of timely and appropriate utilization of immunization services.

Mobile Immunization Tracking and Management System

Paul Kilgore, Wayne State University (Detroit, Michigan, United States)
Oct 12, 2012

Paul Kilgore of Wayne State University in the U.S. proposes to develop a dynamic immunization tracking system using smart phone and palm scanning technology to create and store vaccination records in cloud computers. Clinics will be able to retrieve and update records anywhere, and program managers will manage vaccine supplies in real-time.

Cumulative and Peak Temperature Indicators

Dawn Smith, TEMPTIME Corp (Morris Plains, New Jersey, United States)
Oct 10, 2012

Dawn Smith of Temptime Corporation in the U.S. will develop a low-cost vial-level indicator device that provides a signal not only when vaccines have had brief but damaging exposure to high temperatures, but also have reached a cumulative heat exposure threshold. The integrated device would provide health care workers a comprehensive indication as to whether a vaccine has been damaged by heat and should therefore not be used.

Low-Cost Printed Vial-Level Combined TTI-Threshold Indicator

Anastasia Liya Vitkin, Freshpoint Holdings SA (La Chaux-de-Fond, Switzerland)
Oct 10, 2012

Anastasia Liya Vitkin of Freshpoint Holdings SA of Switzerland will explore new printing technologies for use in the development of a printable label that can be used on vaccines to indicate when contents have surpassed a set temperature threshold or exceeded a cumulative temperature limit. The goal is to create a label that can be printed using low-end, low-cost printing techniques and that will be compatible with other printed temperature indicators.

Low-Cost Vial-Level Printable Low-Temperature Threshold Indicator

Yoav Eichen, Freshpoint Holdings SA (La Chaux-de-Fond, Switzerland)
Oct 10, 2012

Yoav Eichen of Freshpoint Holdings SA in Switzerland will explore new technologies for use in the development of a printable label for vaccine vials to indicate when they have been exposed to temperatures below a set threshold, which would compromise activity. The label will be printed using low-end, low-cost printing techniques and will be compatible with other printed temperature indicators.

Assessing Environmental Impacts of Immunization Technologies

Ruth Stringer, Health Care Without Harm (Reston, Virginia, United States)
Oct 9, 2012

Ruth Stringer and a team at Health Care Without Harm in the U.S., and colleagues at the Health Care Foundation Nepal, will design and test a decision-making tool that compares the costs, benefits, and environmental impacts of centralized autoclaving, recycling, and/or disposing of various types of conventional and safety syringes. This tool will enable decision makers to choose the most economical and sustainable medical waste management strategy.

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View the Grand Challenges partnership network

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is part of the Grand Challenges partnership network. Visit www.grandchallenges.org to view the map of awarded grants across this network and grant opportunities from partners.