In 2000, the Gates Foundation in Seattle launched the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunizations. The initiative has brought vaccination levels in poor countries "to an all-time high," Melinda Gates said in a statement reported by the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.
GAVI was to announce Friday it will spend $500 million on improving healthcare systems in poor countries, the newspaper reported.
"We realized that in some cases you need to first strengthen aspects of the whole health system," Steve Landry, an immunization expert who works with GAVI as a representative of the Gates Foundation, told the newspaper.
He said the $500 million will be in the form of grants that will help countries recruit and train workers.
"The countries themselves will diagnose the problem and propose their own solutions," said Landry.