B Medical Systems is pleased to announce the appointment of Raja Rao as its Director of Immunization Logistics effective January 22, 2018. In his new role, Mr. Rao, who has over 20 years of experience in global health and development, will head initiatives aimed at strengthening vaccine cold chain and delivery systems across more than 100 countries, particularly in the developing world, represented mainly as members of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance.
A key part of his role will be to work with country health professionals, donor organizations, and intergovernmental partners to help develop and deploy new, more functional and reliable cold chain technologies, to help maintain the pace of success of global immunization programs. Raja Rao will also lead our in-house immunization data analytics team that will support on-going Gavi Alliance initiatives aimed at integrating delivery and communication technologies with health management data systems.
Prior to joining B Medical Systems, Mr. Rao served as a senior technical advisor at U.S.-based John Snow, Inc., helping to strengthen Family Planning and HIV/AIDS supply chains in over 20 countries. Most recently, from 2008 – 2017, he was with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) serving in several immunization-related roles, including leading teams in vaccine markets, delivery systems, and technology development and scale up.
Beginning in 2012, Mr. Rao, along with his colleagues and grant partners, were responsible for developing and leading a comprehensive vaccine supply chain strategy implemented by BMGF and its Gavi Alliance partners.
Playing a crucial role to ensure optimal coverage of vaccines, he provided leadership and support to global coalitions of partners such as UNICEF, WHO and Gavi and supported UNICEF in creating market-based procurement strategies. In India, Raja was fortunate to have been in a position to support the Ministry of Family Health & Welfare (MoHFW), UNDP, UNICEF, and Logistimo, to launch the rollout and scale up of the eVIN vaccine management information system.
Most recently at BMGF, Mr. Rao helped organize a coalition of partners to create a $300 million cold chain equipment financing and procurement mechanism – incentivizing both public health programs and manufacturers to create and adopt improved technologies. The Gavi-funded Cold Chain Equipment Optimization Platform (CCEOP) aims to help sustainably improve vaccination coverage by reducing temperature-related vaccine wastage and system costs – while improving safety, efficacy, and availability – through improved equipment performance.
Commenting on Mr. Rao’s appointment, Luc Provost, CEO of B Medical Systems said, “We are delighted to have Raja on board. His appointment reflects our commitment to continue being an innovation and technology driven market leader in immunization logistics. Raja also brings a wealth of experience that we will be able to share with countries to improve their immunization outcomes in a meaningful manner”.