Twenty-seven speakers including 22 representatives from Member States (i.e. 16 Executive Board Members and 6 non-Executive Board Members), four civil society organizations and one pharmaceutical manufacturer association took the floor during the discussion on the Global Vaccine Action Plan (GVAP).
Delegates commended the Strategic Advisory Group of Experts (SAGE) on immunization for an excellent assessment report and took note of the recommendations.
While Member States acknowledged successes in a few areas, most notably the reduction of polio cases in 2014 in the African region, they took note of the fact that we are not on track to meet 5 of the 6 targets for 2014-15. They highlighted the need for all stakeholders, particularly national governments and technical partners, to make the needed investments and efforts to ensure that GVAP targets are achieved.
Delegates highlighted several issues that they felt needed to be addressed if the global immunization goals are to be achieved including:
- Increasing coverage for routine immunization, focusing on strengthening health systems and addressing inadequacies in the health workforce;
- Providing clear guidelines and support for sustaining immunization programmes when health services are affected due to conflict, civil unrests, or disease outbreaks;
- Ensuring countries have access to sustainable supply of vaccines at affordable prices;
- Access to sustainable financing of immunization programme, especially in countries as they graduate out of Gavi support;
- Enhancing the quality of immunization data and to establish processes such as through strengthening National Immunization Technical Advisory Groups (NITAGs) to enable evidence-informed decisions on policies and strategies.
There was strong support from Member States for the SAGE recommendation to convene a special meeting during the upcoming World Health Assembly to discuss how best technical partners and donors can provide support in tackling the challenges facing countries with low vaccination coverage rates.
In its response, the WHO secretariat, while taking note of all the issues raised by the delegates emphasized the need for collective and cohesive action by all immunization stakeholders, including Member States, to get back on track towards achieving the global immunization targets and reaffirmed WHO’s commitment in supporting this process.
and you what do you think about the assessment and recommendations made by SAGE?