Behind the Scenes at World Immunization Week

French NGO Agence de Médecine Préventive (AMP) has been working behind the scenes for more than four decades to make #VaccinesWork, the theme of this year’s World Immunization Week, 24-30 April 2017. Its multifaceted chain of activities aims to reach the one child in seven who still does not have access to lifesaving immunizations (WHO).   

In 2017, AMP celebrates 45 years in the field, where it has constantly driven immunization solutions, from studying how infectious diseases spread and affect communities on the ground to devising solutions for transporting vaccines to remote villages under soaring temperatures. It supports countries to improve the performance of their vaccine supply chain, for example, by delivering vaccines via a mobile warehouse and by installing solar refrigerators, essential for keeping vaccines cool if the electricity fails.

This logistical challenge is especially demanding with communities who live in temporary homes, or move frequently, such as the large community of fishermen who live and work on Lake Chilwa in Malawi, a well-known hotspot for cholera outbreaks. In 2016, AMP launched innovative strategies of community and self-administration with the aim of reaching a portion of the population who would otherwise have remained unvaccinated.

AMP also works to stay one step ahead in the prevention of the next global pandemic through surveillance. It heads up a multi-partner consortium that supports a cholera surveillance network in 11 African countries and is currently evaluating the impact of the MenAfriVacTM vaccine in the African meningitis belt. Having a better understanding of hot spots and vaccine impact make immunization campaigns more efficient and effective.

Rapid diagnosis can also be enough to stop an outbreak in its tracks. When AMP realized it couldn’t always reach those in need it came up with the idea of mounting a fully functioning mobile laboratory on the back of a 4x4 pick-up truck. The all-terrain LaboMobil® can arrive at the site of a suspected outbreak within 48hrs and perform immediate, on-site laboratory diagnosis. The beauty of its response is not only rapid but targeted, especially in the global context of limited vaccine stockpiles, and can prevent large-scale epidemics.

AMP continues to innovate and extend the reach of immunization, working towards the United Nations Sustainable Development goal of ensuring #vaccineswork ‘for all’ by 2030.

 

About Agence de Médecine Préventive (AMP):
Founded in 1972, Agence de Médecine Préventive (AMP) is a French NGO dedicated to promoting preventive medicine and public health worldwide. Along with its public- and private-sector partners, AMP aims to: enhance scientific knowledge in support of evidence-based health policies; support the introduction and use of vaccines; strengthen immunization service delivery and logistics; develop human and institutional capacity through tailor-made training programs; and promote innovation in field vaccinology. For more information, please visit our website amp-vaccinology.org. Follow us on Twitter @AMPvaccinology