Policy analysis for deciding on a malaria vaccine RTS,S in Tanzania

Publication Date
March 2016

Authors
Idda Romore, Ritha J. A. Njau, Innocent Semali, Aziza Mwisongo, Antoinette Ba Nguz, Hassan Mshinda, Marcel Tanner, Salim Abdulla

Journal Reference
Malaria Journal 2016 15:143 | DOI: 10.1186/s12936-016-1197-6

Abstract

Background

Traditionally, it has taken decades to introduce new interventions in low-income countries. Several factors account for these delays, one of which is the absence of a framework to facilitate comprehensive understanding of policy process to inform policy makers and stimulate the decision-making process. In the case of the proposed introduction of malaria vaccines in Tanzania, a specific framework for decision-making will speed up the administrative process and shorten the time until the vaccine is made available to the target population.

Methods

Qualitative research was used as a basis for developing the Policy Framework. Interviews were conducted with government officials, bilateral and multilateral partners and other stakeholders in Tanzania to assess malaria treatment policy changes and to draw lessons for malaria vaccine adoption.

Results

The decision-making process for adopting malaria interventions and new vaccines in general takes years, involving several processes: meetings and presentations of scientific data from different studies with consistent results, packaging and disseminating evidence and getting approval for use by the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare (MOHSW). It is influenced by contextual factors; Promoting factors include; epidemiological and intervention characteristics, country experiences of malaria treatment policy change, presentation and dissemination of evidence, coordination and harmonization of the process, use of international scientific evidence. Barriers factors includes; financial sustainability, competing health and other priorities, political will and bureaucratic procedures, costs related to the adoption and implementations of interventions, supply and distribution and professional compliance with anti-malarial drugs.

Conclusion

The framework facilitates the synthesis of information in a coherent way, enabling a clearer understanding of the policy process, thereby speeding up the policy decision-making process and shortening the time for a malaria vaccine to become available.

Access full text