New Context for Immunization
Over the past decade, governments and donors have committed tremendous resources to improving the health of the world’s poor through immunization. Moreover, progress has been made possible due to the development of new vaccines and technologies; the diversification of vaccine manufacturers, leading to price decreases; and the establishment of global and regional recommendations.
Despite these advances, at least two million people die each year from vaccine-preventable diseases—the majority of them young children in the developing world. Challenges to the uptake of vaccines include lack of readily available local evidence to adapt global and regional recommendations, difficult decision making due to costlier and more complex new vaccines, multiple health priorities, and more.
Evidence-Informed Policymaking & AMP's HPID Unit
National health authorities require information and capacity to determine appropriate immunization policies and strategies based on public health priorities. AMP's Health Policy and Institutional Development (HPID) centre —which was designated a World Health Organization Collaborating Centre (WHO CC) for evidence-informed immunization policy-making in December 2012—is working to respond to this need.
The HPID WHO CC has three main objectives:
- Contribute to WHO promotion of a systematic use of evidence-informed policy-making processes in immunization
- Collaborate with WHO on scaling-up initiatives to improve the use of evidence informed policy- making processes in immunization, in particular through the creation and strengthening of National Immunization Technical Advisory Groups (NITAGs)
- Facilitate the exchange of information within the immunization community (including NITAGs) in order to foster south-south, north-south and north-north collaborations
Institutional Development for a Better Health Policy
Investments in global immunization are contributing to major progress in the fight against vaccine-preventable diseases. Millions of lives are being saved thanks to new and routine vaccines.
But institutional and organizational weaknesses—from cramped workspaces to inappropriate immunization policies—are hindering the performance of health systems. What’s more, poor work conditions provide little incentive for qualified health workers to stay in their home countries. Brain drain—a major problem in Africa—comes at a hefty price, both in terms of financial and societal costs.
For the past decade, AMP has been working with its partners in the field to overcome institutional challenges. In particular, we support countries to:
- Create the necessary structures to support evidence-based health policies such as National Immunization Technical Advisory Groups (NITAGs), through the work of the SIVAC Initiative
- Develop and enforce health regulations
- Identify weaknesses in health systems and determine appropriate solutions
- Improve communication about available health services