Southern Vaccine Advocacy Challenge (SVAC)


Excerpt from News Release (April 23, 2012):

“Innovative ideas from Pakistan, Uganda, Egypt, El Salvador and South Africa flourish in pilot program to promote demand for vaccination in developing countries.

On March 15, 2012, the Ethical, Social and Cultural (ESC) Program at the Sandra Rotman Centre awarded five organizations with $10,000 each to apply creative and innovative approaches to generate public and political demand for vaccines and immunization in their countries.

“For the first time in history, we have or will soon have vaccines to control many deadly diseases and improve the quality of life of every child on the planet. But the supply of vaccines is not enough. Success at preventing disease with vaccines in developing countries also depends on building demand,” said Peter A. Singer, Director of the Sandra Rotman Centre.

This week marks the first ever World Immunization Week organized by the World Health Organization. Vaccination is one of the most successful and cost-effective health interventions saving 2-3 million lives each year; however, 1.7 million children still die from a vaccine-preventable disease – and countless more suffer from stunting of mental and physical development.

The five Southern Vaccine Advocacy Challenge (SVAC) projects aim to create awareness of, and spawn desire for, vaccines and immunization from the people who need them most. These projects were chosen through a peer reviewed competition to be the most innovative and practical among some 60 submitted for consideration from 25 low and middle income countries.

“Tapping into ‘voices from the global South’ harnesses the knowledge, credibility and frontline experience necessary to drive local and national demand for vaccines. These initial SVAC projects represent an important and innovative step to engaging these individuals,” said Lauren Leahy, Research Officer with the Centre’s ESC Program…”

To read the full News Release, please click HERE


The innovative projects that received funding were:


Advocacy for Promotion of Vaccination During Childhood, District Swat, Khyber PukhtoonKhwa, Pakistan

Erfaan Hussein Babak (“The Awakening” A Society for Social  & Cultural Development, Pakistan)


Human Papillomavirus Vaccine Awareness in Entebbe in Local Languages

Christine Munduru (Science Café Uganda, Uganda)


Protect Your Child

Dr. Mohamed Zaazoue (Egyptian Medical Students’ Association, Egypt)



For a Future Without Cervical Cancer in El Salvador

Dra. Lisseth Ruiz de Campos (Asociaciόn Salvadoreña Para la Prevenciόn del Cáncer, El Salvador)



Future Fighters Forward: Engaging South African Youth to Grow a New Generation of Prevention and Vaccine Advocates

Dion Benetatos (Desmond Tutu HIV Foundation, South Africa)