TechNet-21 - Forum

This forum provides a place for members to ask questions, share experiences, coordinate activities, and discuss recent developments in immunization.

Discussions tagged WHO

Meeting of the Pan-African Parliamentarians (PAP) and AFRO

We must do more to make sure everyone has access to essential health services. Investing in #immunization can help strengthen health systems and advance #UHC. #ProtectedTogether #VaccinesWork I’m sharing the good news from this week’s meeting of the Pan-African Parliamentarians (PAP) and AFRO to advance the dialogue and commitments on the implementation of the African Union AU Declaration on Universal Access to Immunization. http://www.panafricanparliament.org/index.php/news-and-events/47-global-health-coverage-immunization-and-albinism-take-priority-at-pap-session This is (almost to the day) a year after launching the Immunization Business Case for the African Continent at the World Health Assembly (WHA71) by the DG (Dr Tedros) and AFRO RD (Dr Moeti). This is another big milestone as Parliamentarians will have a critical role to play in holding our Member States accountable for immunization outcomes. Getting their commitment is key to implementing the Addis Declaration on Immunization and the broader Immunization Agenda 2030!

New Topic page: EPI Core Reference Materials!

Announcing a new Topic resource page: EPI Core Reference Materials, now available on TechNet here: https://www.technet-21.org/en/topics/epi-core-reference
On this page, you will have accesss to a list of key reference materials published by the WHO Expanded Programme on Immunization (EPI), organized by antigen, themes, and groups. This page will continue to be updated as new global resources become available, so check back regularly!  Remember you can also find all documents, as well as additional immunization materials, in the Immunization, Vaccines and Biologicals (IVB) Document Centre on the WHO web.  

New! A practical handbook for planning, implementing, and strengthening vaccination in the second year of life

WHO recently published a new guidance document: “A practical handbook for planning, implementing and strengthening vaccination in the second year of life” (2YL Handbook). The 2YL Handbook provides detail on the practical steps for planning, managing, implementing, and monitoring vaccination during a scheduled visit, or visits, in the second year of life. It also provides useful steps for strengthening vaccination when coverage in the 2YL has not reached programme targets. It is designed to be used together with the 2YL guidance  “Establishing and strengthening immunization in the second year of life: practices for vaccination beyond infancy”. Both of these documents, as well as other tools and resources on immunization in the 2YL, can be found at www.who.int/immunization/programmes_systems/policies_strategies/2YL 

Immunization Supply Chain Strengthening subsite

Dear all, Did you know that there is a dedicated subsite on Immunization Supply Chain (iSC) strengthening on TechNet-21? In 2014, the Gavi Alliance partners developed the Gavi Immunization Supply Chains (iSC) Strategy around strengthening country immunization  supply chains, focusing on five fundamentals: Data for Management; System Design; Leadership; Cold Chain Equipment; and Continuous Improvement Plans.  The iSC subsite houses information, tools, and resources that can help country governments and implementing partners aiming to strengthen these five fundamentals. You can find guidance on implementing DISC indicators, system design optimization case studies, HR rapid assessments, and other practical tools and guidance documents.  Explore the site at: https://www.technet-21.org/iscstrengthening. Interested in contributing to the subsite? You can find guidance on the iSC topics page here: https://www.technet-21.org/en/topics/isc

Updated Vaccine-Preventable Diseases (VPD) Surveillance Standards Released

WHO has released the updated surveillance standards for more than 20 vaccine-preventable diseases. Each disease is its own self-contained chapter, available in color and in black and white (for ease of printing).  There is also an introductory chapter detailing some of the basics of surveillance.  French and Russian translations will be available in the coming months.  
https://www.technet-21.org/en/library/explore/vaccines-and-delivery-technologies/4942-vaccine-preventable-diseases-surveillance-standards    

Please participate in the Vaccine Innovation Prioritisation Strategy survey

Dear colleagues, In 2017, WHO, PATH, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, UNICEF and Gavi launched the Vaccine Innovation Prioritisation Strategy (VIPS), with the aim to drive vaccine product innovation to better meet country needs and support Alliance goals on immunisation coverage and equity. Product innovation refers to completely new vaccine products or adaptations to existing products that provide measurable financial or programmatic benefits to low and middle income countries (LMICs), such as increased coverage and equity (e.g., by overcoming a ‘last mile’ barrier) or improved vaccine effectiveness. Through VIPS, the Alliance strives to understand countries’ needs to consider the financial and non-financial impact of innovations; develop common principles to measure the benefits of product innovations; and convene a platform to articulate a clear and aligned perspective on priority product innovations in development and communicate these priorities to provide greater clarity for manufacturers or partners to help inform investment decisions. At this stage of the VIPS process, we would like to ask for feedback through this survey on the relative importance of immunisation programme implementation challenges and barriers to improved coverage and equity and other pressing issues, from a country perspective. Your answers will inform VIPS assessments of vaccine product innovations in order to prioritise innovations that may be most valued in addressing country needs. This survey should take no more than 15 minutes to complete and will be available through the 30th September 2018 under one of the following links: English version - https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/BPMTGC9 French version - https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/LFH2DKQ Russian version - https://ru.surveymonkey.com/r/R3XMMMC Please feel free to forward the survey links to other stakeholders who may be interested. We apologise for the inconvenience if you have already received a link to this survey through another communication. We appreciate you making time to complete this questionnaire and look forward to continuing engagment with you on this important topic. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Anna Osborne: aosborne@gavi.org Best regards, Debbie Kristensen on behalf of the VIPS Secretariat  

New WHO guidelines released on home-based records

Dear Colleagues, WHO guidelines for home-based records were just recently released - WHO recommendations on home-based records for maternal, newborn and child health. Geneva: World Health Organization; 2018. The recommendations, rationale and remarks below are abstracted from the document, which has been uploaded to the TechNet-21 Resource Library (TRL) here. The document is also available online here: http://www.who.int/maternal_child_adolescent/documents/home-based-records-guidelines/en/.  Readers of the HBR recommendations will find that published evidence demonstrating benefits of HBRs is limited. Many of us on the Guideline Development Group (GDG) knew this to be the case before the guideline development work began. As a professional who believes in evidence-based approaches to public health, some may question why I (and many others) remain resolute ambassadors for home-based records and their role as a key component of immunization service delivery.  First and foremost, I believe that every parent has a right to a documented record of what interventions have been taken with their child by healthcare professionals, vaccination included. I also beleive very strongly in the importance of informed decisions by healthcare workers, and I recognize home-based records serve as a tool designed to provide frontline health workers with a standardized patient history that is convenient, comprehensive and vital to making such informed decisions about the need for care and immunization services. Without a doubt, gaps in our collective knowledge of the benefits of home-based records exists and these gaps need to be filled. But let's not lose the momentum that has been built over the past several years to re-energize the functional importance of home-based records within immunization service delivery.  Recommendations. Two primary recommendations resulted from the Guideline Development Group (GDG) consultations. These include: The use of home-based records, as a complement to facility-based records, is recommended for the care of pregnant women, mothers, newborns and children, to improve care-seeking behaviours, male involvement and support in the household, maternal and child home care practices, infant and child feeding, and communication between health providers and women/caregivers. (Low-certainty evidence) There was insufficient evidence available to determine if any specific type, format or design of home-based records is more effective. Policy-makers should involve stakeholders to discuss the important considerations with respect to type, content and implementation of home-based records. Rationale. The rationale for these recommendations was as follows. The GDG considered the evidence presented and judged that, overall, the certainty of evidence of the effectiveness of home-based records was low. They recognized that the existing evidence base has limitations, including: the small number of studies found, half of which were conducted in high-income countries; the age of these, with some conducted before 2000; and the variety in the studies, which looked at different types of home-based records and measured a broad array of outcomes. The impact varied by outcome. Some studies showed a positive effect on maternal health immunization care-seeking, outcomes related to a supportive home environment for maternal and child health (MCH) care, improved infant feeding and other child health care practices, improved child growth and development, improved continuity of care across MCH, and improved communication with health providers. However, there was also no significant effect reported on many maternal, newborn and child care-seeking and care practice outcomes. For many outcomes, no studies were found. Although the evidence base has its limitations, the GDG determined that the desirable effects outweigh any undesirable effects, and also considered in their judgements the fact that home-based records have a long history and are implemented in at least 163 countries. Furthermore, they considered the qualitative evidence that reports women, caregivers and providers from a variety of settings value different forms of home-based records. The GDG also noted that home-based records contribute to a larger objective of ensuring the right to access to information and are in line with global efforts for people-centred care, which WHO embraces. Remarks. Further remarks around these recommendations included the following. In remote and fragile settings, where health systems are weak or where health information systems are absent or poor, and in locations where caregivers may use multiple health facilities, home-based records may be of greater value than in more developed settings and health systems. Concerns about the privacy of online or electronic records were reported in studies. The GDG highlighted the potential sensitivity of information in home-based records on HIV testing, status or treatment. Careful consideration should be given as to what personal information is necessary to include in home-based records, to avoid stigma and discrimination. Countries currently using home-based records should consider appropriate use, design and content, as well as sustainable financing to maximize their use and impact. Additional research is needed on the benefits of using home-based records for recording information on single aspects of care, versus home-based records that include wider MNCH aspects for health education purposes. Evidence was not available at this time to inform this priority question for countries.

Celebrating 20 years of immunization data collaboration between WHO and UNICEF

Working together to unlock the lifesaving power of data 2018 marks the 20th anniversary of WHO and UNICEF’s Joint Reporting Form (JRF) on Immunization – a single form used by all countries to record data on national immunization rates and cases of vaccine-preventable diseases; track vaccine supply and pricing; and monitor immunization schedules and policies. Since the introduction of the form in 1998, immunization data for more than 2.7 billion newborns have been recorded using the JRF. But collection of immunization data did not start as a joint WHO-UNICEF process. While our two organizations both began collecting national immunization coverage data in the late 1970s, as part of the Expanded Programme on Immunization (EPI), which aims to make vaccines available to all children, we collected it independently, at different times of the year, and using different methods.  This approach produced differing global coverage estimates, making it challenging for the international community to use these estimates to target support where it was most needed. The dual reporting approach also placed a heavy burden on countries, requiring them to collect and report data twice each year. The JRF was a game changer – this joint WHO-UNICEF, worldwide immunization data collection process using uniform methodology and resulting in a single set of more robust estimates, which is not only instrumental in helping immunization stakeholders and partners monitor immunization progress towards targets of the Global Vaccine Action Plan, but is also critical in measuring the impact of global immunization investments. In 1998, when the JRF was first launched, most country immunization programmes offered vaccination against six diseases – diphtheria, measles, pertussis, polio, tetanus and tuberculosis – and focused mainly on children under one year of age.  Today, scientific progress and development have expanded the scope of immunization programmes: countries now vaccinate against a minimum of 10 diseases, the number of available vaccines has more than tripled, and vaccinations are now delivered throughout the life-course. These changes have brought a need for more sophisticated monitoring and data systems that can track and manage this increased programme complexity.  In response, innovations in data collection enable the JRF to not only collect data on vaccination coverage and the number of cases of vaccine-preventable diseases, it also tracks the prices of vaccines in 195 countries, and records progress against global immunization goals.   See the full Commentary From Dr Princess Nothemba Simelela, Assistant Director-General, Family, Women, Children and Adolescents, WHO and Robin Nandy, Principal Advisor & Chief of Immunizations, UNICEF

Solving immunization supply chain challenges with blockchain technology?

I am really interested in the potential benefits that blockchain technology could bring to immunization. There have been many discussions on vaccine packaging and barcoding as I can recall, and I was wondering if blockchain technology was mentioned (or even central now!) during those discussions, and also if some of you would have some stories to share about using this technology at all.  It seems from several sources, including the World Bank that blockchain technology can provide a cost-effectiev solution to many challenges encountered by government-led supply chains, such as maintaining vaccine quality throughout the supply chain or ensuring vaccine availability at service delivery points. In addition to that, by allowing to track vaccines from lab to patient, particularly where a network of various players in different geographies are involved, blockchain technology would then aid to prevent fraudulent products entering the supply chain and bring down the risk that ineffective counterfeited products represent for public health. That could be quite an interesting opportunity, especially since the WHO estimated that countries are spending about $30bn on counterfeit drugs, that cases of counterfeited yellow fever and MenA vaccines were reported and that WHO thinks most cases of fake medicines re likely to be unreported (see this article).  I'd love to hear from immunization on what their thoughts, hopes and possibly criticisms would be! Thanks all and have a great day!

Electronic Immunization Registry: Practical Considerations for Planning, Development, Implementation and Evaluation

This document is designed to support EPI managers and their teams in the implementation of EIR-related information systems, using the various experiences compiled at the global level – and, especially, in the Region of the Americas – as a foundation. Within this context, the main objectives of this document are as follows: 1) To generate knowledge related to information systems and immunization registries for immunization program managers at the national and subnational levels; 2) To provide teams, EPI managers, and experts in health information systems with relevant background and experiences for development, implementation, maintenance, monitoring, and evaluation of EIR systems, so as to support planning of their implementation; 3) To provide technical, functional, and operational recommendations that can serve as a basis for discussion and analysis of the standard requirements needed for development and implementation of EIRs in countries of the Region of the Americas and other regions; 4) To serve as a platform for documentation and sharing of lessons learned and successful experiences in EIR implementation. This document is structured into three major sections: background; EIR planning and design; and EIR development and implementation, taking into account the relevant processes and their structure. The content of the chapters is supported by a literature review of aspects related to EIR requirements and summarizes the experiences of the countries of the Region of the Americas and other regions that already have EIRs in place or are at the development and implementation stage. Many of the experiences presented herein have been shared during the three editions of the “Regional Meeting to Share Lessons Learned in the Development and Implementation of Electronic Individualized Vaccination Registries,” held in 2011 in Bogotá (Colombia), in 2013 in Brasilia (Brazil), and in 2016 in San José (Costa Rica), in addition to ad hoc meetings held by the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO), Member States, independent consultants and other agencies such as WHO, BMGF, CDC, PATH, ECDC, AIRA, among others. We appreciate the technical and financial support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Publication is also available in Spanish and French 

User manual for the revised WHO classification for the causality assessment of an adverse event following immunization (AEFI) – Second edition

The second edition of the user manual for the revised WHO classification for the causality assessment of an adverse event following immunization (AEFI) was developed by the WHO with support from the Global Advisory Committee for Vaccine Safety (GACVS). This was based on the findings of a scientific study, “Indo- Zimbabwe inter-country study to assess the inter-rater reliability of the WHO AEFI causality assessment methodology and the utility of the new WHO AEFI causality assessment software” that was conducted in April 2017. The study determined that there was realistic agreement between assessors in their findings of assessment and identified areas of the methodology that could be made even more robust by the use of more accurate and clearer language, semantics and graphics. In addition recent surveillance systems and research studies have shed new evidence on areas such as, “substandard and falsified vaccines” and “immunization anxiety” that have been incorporated into this edition. The manual is now available: http://www.who.int/vaccine_safety/publications/gvs_aefi/en/

Invitation for best practices sharing: Cold Chain Equipment Decommissioning and Disposal

Dear TechNet community members, Warm greetings! The cold chain situation in many countries is sub-optimal and affects the capacity of national immunization programs to deliver potent vaccines to all women and children.To help improve this situation, the Gavi Board approved the Cold Chain Equipment Platform Optimization Platform (CCEOP) in 2015 with the purpose to support the purchase of CCE. Since 2016, CCEOP WHO pre-reviews and GAVI Independent Review Committee (IRC) revealed countries’ weaknesses to provide updated and specific policies and strategies for CCE decommissioning and disposal. Though there is no policy for vaccines CCE decommissioning and disposal, countries should plan for technical support and request guidance.This could be major barriers to the implementation of the CCEOP or any future CCE investments. So I am contacting you, Dear TechNet community members, to request for best practices sharing from your countries.  Existing CCE decommissioning and disposal policy or strategy or plan for immunization Available CCE decommissioning and disposal guidelines for immunization Existing partnerships between National Immunization programs and other stakeholders (public-private-NGO) Your contribution will be very helpful to UNICEF which commits supporting countries developing policies and strategies for CCE disposal in the framework of the CCEOP implementation. Thanks for considering this request and I am looking forward to your reply. Dorothy.  

SEEKING VACCINE DELIVERY EXPERTS: Invitation to complete a survey on IMMUNIZATION OUTREACH

WHO/HQ/EPI is interested in strengthening immunization outreach efforts by creating some related job aids for health workers.  To this end, we would appreciate your perspective on some of the barriers undermining this critical part of vaccination activities.  We request you to complete a small 5 to 10 minutes survey.    Should you know of additional experts with first-hand knowledge and experience around this issue, please forward this survey to them.  The survey will be open for participation until Monday, February 5th, though the sooner we receive enough responses, the better.  Please be aware that the survey remains fully confidential and the results will not be published, nor shared with anyone outside of the WHO-HQ EPI team. Thank you very much for your contribution!    https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/2Y6R72P

Utiliser les Stratégies et pratiques mondiales de vaccination systématique (SPMVS)

Un cours Scholar pour les praticiens de la santé impliqués dans la planification de la vaccination, pour développer leur capacité  L’Organisation mondiale de la Santé (OMS) invite les praticiens qui contribuent directement
à la planification de la vaccination au niveau national ou infra-national à se joindre à l’une
des deux cohortes du cours Scholar SPMVS.
✔✔ La première cohorte débute le 5 mars 2018 et se termine le 20 avril 2018.
✔✔ La deuxième cohorte débute le 7 mai 2018 et se termine le 22 juin 2018.
✔✔ Les candidatures seront reçues jusqu’au 23 février 2018 pour la première cohorte
et jusqu’au 20 avril 2018 pour la deuxième.
✔✔ Les candidats admis par l’OMS seront invités à assister à une séance préparatoire
obligatoire avant le début de chaque cours.à inclure les investissements transformatifs du SPMVS. Cliquez ici pour déposez votre candidature  http://learning.foundation/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/2018.OMS-SPMVS-Scholar-ANNONCE.pdf   The GRISP online course in now available in french.

AWAY WITH THE DOGMA 1 ! Closed Vial Wastage

AWAY WITH THE DOGMA! 1: “Monitoring Closed Vial Wastage”   This is the first Blog in a series to encourage vaccine supply chain planners to consider changes without being constrained by some, dogmatic operational policies of the Expanded Program on Immunization. Taking one issue at a time I shall explain its origin, why it is no longer helpful and suggest alternatives for us to debate.   So please, open the attached file and I look forward to your frank reactions!

INVITATION - WHO Global Routine Immunization Strategies and Practices (GRISP) Scholar Commencement Event

The World Health Organization Global Routine Immunization Strategies and Practices (GRISP) course team invites you to join our digital (online) Commencement Event to recognize the work and celebrate the achievement of the WHO GRISP Scholars Date: 12 December 2017 Time: 14h00 (2 PM) UTC+1 Geneva (check time) Registration: https://attendee.gototraining.com/r/6845807171822769665 Training ID: 502-385-612 Contact: grisp@learning.foundation During this event: Commencement speakers will address course participants to recognize their work and achievement GRISP Scholar participants will present the action planning they have developed to implement a GRISP transformative investment in their country. Participants will also share their experience and insights gained from connecting with EPI colleagues from over 30 countries through intense dialogue and peer review. You are encouraged to download the invitation and share it with your colleagues and professional networks. This WHO digital course used the Scholar Approach, developed by the University of Illinois College of Education and the Geneva Learning Foundation to support effective learning for global health and humanitarian work. This approach combines community of practice, knowledge co-construction, and peer review to support project-based learning. It was first piloted in 2016 by WHO to support country-level action planning based on the Global Routine Immunization Strategies and Practices (GRISP) guidelines. The GRISP Scholar course will be offered in French in the first quarter of 2018.  

Fake drugs

Here is a link to an interesting article that a colleague sent me: http://www.foxnews.com/health/2017/11/28/tens-thousands-dying-from-30b-fake-drugs-trade-who-says.html Basically, it reports on a study of the (potential) extent of damage from fake, adulterated or expired vaccines.  My question is more specifically whether someone has studied similar effects of losses in the WHO-EPI suite of vaccines due to supply chain problems (e.g., lack of temperature control, mistimed deliveries, wastage, etc.), and if there has been any research into systematic interventions that could mitigate these effects. Thanks Jay

Editorial from EPI Monthly Feedback Bulletin from AFRO East and South (August-October 2017): The use of innovations (ODK) supporting country level Integrated Supportive Supervision real time documentation.

As part of the WHO African region efforts to improve immunization and surveillance performances in terms of quality, effectiveness, efficiency, coverage and equity and in order to strengthen the capacity of policy makers and health providers in countries, there is a need for accurate data in order to gauge the effectiveness of existing policies and programs in health care system to make it more accessible and reliable. Guided by the WHO regional office, the IVD cluster of the Inter-country Support Teams for the ESA sub-region (IST/ESA) is supporting the use of innovative technologies within the immunization systems through GIS and mHealth. The rapid proliferation of mHealth projects (mostly pilot efforts), has generated considerable enthusiasm among governments, donors, and implementers of health programs. GIS and mHealth are not a new concept to be adopted and recommended by the WHO or MoHs, and they are among the key technologies that have proven impact on the quality, timeliness, and cost effectiveness of the program activities at all levels reaching up to subnational, health facility, and case-based levels (i.e. for VPD surveillance, AFP environmental surveillance, routine immunization and micro-planning, LQAs, EPI reviews, containment, certification and Monitoring & Evaluation etc.). One of the innovations is the Integrated Supportive Supervision (ISS). The ISS is an Integrated Electronic Checklist used for supervision during Active Case Search and Routine Immunization which is mostly administered by both WHO staff and Government personnel via Smart mobile phones in the field at Health Facilities and Focal Sites. These supportive visits are automatically mapped on the country profile server managed by WHO. Supportive Supervision remains the bedrock for highlighting good surveillance and routine Immunization practices through systematic visits to priority sites for assessment, evaluation and on the job training for health workers and entire health system. As we move towards the last miles of polio eradication, advanced well to eliminate measles in our sub-region, thus to bridge immunity and surveillance gaps, WHO IST/ESA has gone a step further in institutionalizing supportive supervision by encapsulating the activity into mobile format that can be administered using smart phones in order to increases the accuracy and reliability of information collected. Accuracy of data can be enhanced by proper data collection and management, the development, execution and supervision of plans, policies, programs and practices that control, protect, deliver accurate, relevant and up-to-date data in the shortest time. In the use of m-health, data collection and management has become a critical component, which requires portable software, mobile devices and the software that houses the collected information. Open Data Kit (ODK) is a free and open-source set of tools that can help organizations author, field, and manage mobile data collection solutions. In the ESA sub-region, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Madagascar, Zambia, Kenya, Uganda and South Sudan had already adopted the use of this real time mobile assisted supportive supervision with over 1,603 visits to health facilities in three months (August – October, 2017) across different regions and districts. Other countries that adopted the tool and are ready to commence using it includes South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Malawi, Seychelles, Lesotho, Eritrea, Zimbabwe, Swaziland. The Target is to have all countries under the ESA region to conduct all their supportive supervision using smart phones to foster accountability of WHO and Government staff. It also supports other health interventions outside the EPI programmes and countries are encouraged to take advantage of the opportunity to support other health interventions (e.g. Cholera outbreak). We therefore call to Government EPI managers and surveillance officers to position themselves to embrace and use the new innovations to enable them to attain and sustain immunization and surveillance targets. Contributors as well as members of the editorial board: Dr Ahmed Y, Mr Bello I, Dr Byabamazima C, Mr Chakauya J.M, Dr Daniel, F, Dr Eshetu, M.Shibeshi, ,Dr Lebo E, Mr Katsande R, Ms Machekanyanga ,Mr Masvikeni B, Dr Manyanga D, Dr Mumba,M. Dr Okiror S,Dr Petu A, Dr Umar S and Dr Weldegebrie G.

For the first time, WHO is publishing immunization coverage data at the subnational level reported by 140 Member States worldwide.

Data for over 20 000 subnational entities were received, which represents about two-thirds of all the surviving infants worldwide. The information is essential for countries to target their efforts to address gaps and increase immunization coverage. By visiting our website ( http://www.who.int/immunization/monitoring_surveillance/data/subnational/en/) you will be able to access a summary presentation of the data received, information on the limitations of the data and some country specific visuals.

A quick reminder about sustained levels of estimated coverage…the number of children vaccinated is increasing!

Following the July 2017 release of the WHO and UNICEF estimates of national immunization coverage and the corresponding chorus of concerns about sustained (i.e., a more positive alternative to the term “stagnated” that is frequently used) levels of vaccination coverage since around 2010 that seems to follow, I thought it useful to remind readers that the number of children vaccinated is increasing! Unfortunately, the number of children vaccinated from one year to the next during the recent period has not outpaced the natural population growth (as estimated by UN Population Division), a requirement for vaccination COVERAGE levels to increase over time. For example, at the global level, although estimated DTPCV3 coverage has remained around 85% since 2010, the estimated number of children who received three doses of DTPCV increased by more than 3.2 million between 2010 and 2016. Without surprise, the estimated number of surviving infants globally also increased, in fact, by more than 2.7 million from an estimated 133 to 136 million surviving infants. A similar pattern was observed among the Gavi 73 countries, for which nearly more 4.2 million children were vaccinated with DTPCV3 in 2016 than in 2010; again, the estimated number of surviving infants increased, by some 2.8 million children among Gavi 73 countries. Across the Gavi 73 countries, estimated DTPCV3 coverage was sustained at roughly the same level between 2010 and 2016 in 41 countries (estimated DTPCV3 coverage increased meaningfully in 24 countries and decreased meaningfully in eight countries). And among these 41 countries with sustained coverage levels for DTPCV3, the estimated number of children vaccinated increased between 2010 and 2016 in 31 countries by a total of more than 1 million infants. So, as the chorus of concern around sustained coverage levels is heard far and wide, from the opening session of the TechNet conference and beyond, let us give credit to the achievement of the national immunization programmes over the past 7-10 years – a period during which many programmes introduced multiple new vaccines (!), endured the effects of a global financial crisis and in some cases had to deal with civil conflict, large disease outbreaks and/or natural disasters. The achievements are noteworthy. Without question, there is more that can be and must be done moving forward…but, let’s not lose track of the fact that more children are vaccinated today than ever before and this number continues to increase.  

Engagement of private/nongovernmental health providers in immunization service delivery: Considerations for National Immunization Programmes

The WHO Guidance Note on "Engagement of private/nongovernmental health providers in immunization service delivery: Considerations for National Immunization Programmes" has recently been published on the WHO website: www.who.int/immunization/documents/policies/WHO_IVB_17.15/en/ This Guidance Note for national immunization programmes aims to: Present considerations regarding the involvement of nongovernmental (private) providers in vaccine delivery (including contribution to enhancing coverage and equity while maintaining delivery standards and quality), monitoring of coverage and safety, and disease surveillance; Provide recommendations to support optimal engagement of nongovernmental (private) providers in the effective delivery of national immunization programmes. This document does not attempt to quantify the impact of the private sector or propose a preferred hierarchy of delivery systems (i.e. private, mixed, or public model) nor does it prescribe the type of engagement or advocate for a greater or lesser role of the private sector in health care. The aim is to encourage closer collaboration between the public and private/nongovernmental sectors and hence a more effective engagement of the private sector in supporting national immunization programme priorities.

2016 immunization data now available from your “Immunization Summaries” App

The Immunization Summary app, which is  great tool initiated by Olivier Beauvais, is now updated and includes data up to 2016. Using the app will  allow you accessing immunization data in a dynamic way, by  generating  visuals (tables, graphs, maps) on schedules, on a selected set of vaccine preventable diseases incidence data, on immunization coverage levels and on various programmatic and systemic indicators (related to policies, activities, management, performance,…). You can download the visuals, send them via email, or even access the underlying raw data. Mainly, these data are reported by WHO & UNICEF member states annually for incidence, coverage and immunization indicators. The app also includes WHO UNICEF estimates of national immunization coverage (WUENIC) , which constitute an independent technical assessment of coverage. The detailed country profiles of WUENIC can be accessed under publication; The app is available in 6 languages (English, French, Spanish, Russian, Chinese and Arabic). For more information on how to use the app,  watch the immunization summary preview at: http://multimedia.who.int/mp4/WHO-TRA_Immunization_surveillance_application_13MAR2014.mp4 Do not Forget to rate the app, and send all your comments and suggestions to vpdata@who.int.

OpenLMIS User-Centered Design Workshop Report - Vaccine Resupply

Dear TechNet Colleagues, I am pleased to share a workshop report on the Francophone OpenLMIS User-Centered Design Workshop facilitated by VillageReach and hosted at the PATH Senegal Headquarters in Dakar, Senegal, in July.  12 attendees from Ministry of Health Expanded Programme on Immunization (EPI) programs plus WHO International representation attended this 3-day workshop on user-centered software design in Dakar. Participants came from Benin, Cote d’Ivoire, DRC, Guinea and Senegal.  The workshop specifically focused on the workflows within OpenLMIS associated with resupplying vaccines, and had three primary objectives: Define and understand the processes for resupplying vaccines Define the workflows and data required for good vaccine resupply management Create prototypes responding to these workflows in order to inform the development of the vaccine module in OpenLMIS Since July, the OpenLMIS team has been processing an enormous amount of information that came out of the workshop. The team is working to turn these outputs into tickets and other actionable development for the OpenLMIS vaccine module.  The report contains details from the workshop, including all presentations, notes, and photos of the participants in action. Please see the final, publicly-available report here: https://openlmis.atlassian.net/wiki/spaces/OP/pages/114688775/Senegal+Francophone+User+Design+Workshop+Report+--+Resupply For questions relating to the OpenLMIS Initiative, please contact Tenly Snow, OpenLMIS Community Manager at tenly.snow@openlmis.org. For questions relating to the OpenLMIS vaccine module development roadmap and feature development, please contact Mary Jo Kochendorfer, OpenLMIS Product Manager at maryjo.kochendorfer@openlmis.org  -- Tenly 

WHO Performance, Quality and Safety (PQS) Website Survey

Dear Technet21 Members, We are pleased to invite you to take part in our new survey about the WHO Performance, Quality and Safety (PQS) website. We want to make sure the website is functioning optimally for all its users, and so we are keen to learn more about why and how you use the PQS website, and what your personal experience has been. Answering the survey questions will take around 7-10 minutes of your time. The survey will remain open until the 30th of September and shortly after that we will share what we have learnt from you. The contact details you provide will be used only for this research, and any responses you provide that are reported publicly will be made anonymous. Please kindly access the survey on: PQS Webiste survey  (https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/PQSwebsite1) If you choose not to complete the survey, but would still like to let us know your thoughts on the website, send us an email at pqsinfo@who.int Thank you for your participation and for supporting the PQS mission.

Isaac Gobina WHO 

Article - Evidence of cost-benefits of electronic medical records and standards and Interoperability (2017)

We are happy to share with you this article produced by the Federal University of Minas Gerais and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO/WHO), showing some of the benefits of the use of electronic medical records, standards and interoperability on the quality of care, and also some preliminary evidence indicating that the use of eHealth interventions with information exchange may improve clinical process outcomes. Reference: Reis ZSN, Maia TA, Marcolino MS, Becerra-Posada F, Novillo-Ortiz D, Ribeiro ALP. Is There Evidence of Cost Benefits of Electronic Medical Records, Standards, or Interoperability in Hospital Information Systems? Overview of Systematic Reviews. JMIR Med Inform 2017;5(3):e26. DOI: 10.2196/medinform.7400. Available at: http://medinform.jmir.org/2017/3/e26/  and also on the Technet Resource Library Please, feel free to disseminate this document in your network.

Short, practical data monitoring training videos

Immunization Academy (www.immunizationacademy.com) is a new initiative sponsored by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, providing open access to short, practical training videos. The videos support a growing list of immunization topics, using WHO-approved guidance. Currently more than 40 videos on data monioring topics are available. They can be accessed and viewed by anyone working in support of immunization. The videos can be viewed by computer, tablet or smartphone, and can be downloaded for use offline.

Supplement recently published - The Expanded Program on Immunization in Ethiopia

A Supplement on EPI in Ethiopia recently published in the Pan African Medical Journal. http://www.panafrican-med-journal.com/content/series/27/2/

Webinar 4/24: Immunizing the Urban Poor

Dear TechNet, I hope you can join us during World Immunization Week for a webinar on the challenges of immunizing the urban poor and how the global community can adapt to meet the unique needs of this marginalized and under-served population. Representatives from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Gavi, WHO, and UNICEF will share perspectives. Information is below. Please feel free to to contact with any questions or comments. Thank you,
Diane _________________________________
Webinar: Immunizing the Urban Poor
Monday, April 24, 2017
11:00 AM – 12:00 PM EDT | 3:00 – 4:00 PM GMT This World Immunization Week, tune in to a webinar to raise the profile of an often-neglected issue: immunizing the urban poor. Building on recent urban immunization work with WHO, UNICEF, GAVI, BMGF, and JSI, the panelists will discuss primary barriers for the urban poor to access and use vaccination services, how these barriers can be overcome (with examples from country specific contexts), and the need to build better evidence to help advocacy efforts. By 2050, 66% of the world's population will be urban dwellers, with 90% of this increase occurring in African and Asian cities with fewer than 1,000,000 people. As urban populations continue to grow, the global community must reevaluate its approaches to immunization to meet the needs of the marginalized and under-served urban poor. These changing demographics will require special efforts and approaches for building evidence, advocating with city administrations and donors, involving all stakeholders and communities in service delivery, and developing targeted interventions to prioritize urban poor populations in planning and resource allocation. Expert panelists: Bhupendra Tripathi, country lead – Routine Immunization & Neglected Tropical Diseases, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, India Jan Grevendonk, technical officer, World Health Organization Richard Duncan, senior immunization specialist and Godwin Mindra, immunization specialist, UNICEF Sam Sternin, Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance Gerald Lerebours and Iqbal Hossain, John Snow, Inc. Moderator:
Craig Burgess, senior technical advisor, John Snow, Inc. Please join us with your related challenges and experiences. We anticipate a lively discussion on how existing immunization approaches can be adapted to reach the urban poor. Submit your questions for specific panelists in advance to @JSIHealth with the hashtag #UrbanHealth. You can also follow the conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #UrbanHealth. Register now: http://bit.ly/2oXyDeU

Have you included pharmacists in your immunization plan?

Dear TechNet-21 Community, For many years, pharmacists have been involved in supply chain and supporting campaigns to support immunization by patients, but they are more and more involved in the delivery of immunization services (adding up to the existing immunization team). This was highlighted in its last FIP report "An overview of current pharmacy impact on immunisation: A global report" (see attachment). This report was based on data collected from 45 countries and found thatnearly a half (44%) have community pharmacy premises offering vaccinations, demonstrating the expansion and growing acceptance of pharmacy immunisation services around the world. An increasing number of countries are introducing immunisation rights specifically for pharmacists. In 13 of the 45 countries, pharmacists themselves have the authority to administer vaccines and, therefore, the potential to reach 655 million. This expanded role of pharmacists has been supported by theJoint FIP/WHO guidelines on good pharmacy practice (2010), list the roles and functions of pharmacists, one of whcih being "Administration of medicines, vaccines and other injectable medications". The report includes in-depth case studies from Argentina, Australia, Belgium, France, Ireland, Philippines, Portugal, South Africa, Switzerland, UK and USA, with advancement examples that can potentially be adopted by other countries to advocate for a national immunisation strategy that actively involves pharmacists as part of the public health agenda. The findings also highlight that, in some countries, vaccine administration is part of the pharmacy undergraduate curriculum and that the perceived competition threat to other health care professionals providing immunisation services is diminishing. Best regards Luc Besançon FIP CEO

A productive 2016 on Immunization Monitoring and Data Quality

Since it seems that this got lost during the TechNet-21 hack, I am reposting. This was published in the Global Immunization Newsletter, January 2017:http://www.who.int/immunization/gin/en/ Last year, we saw great data visualisations, including an animated map showing the reduction in the number of unvaccinated children overtime, and the report of the Global Vaccine Action Plan (GVAP) was more interactive than ever (see: dynamic graphs of GVAP indicators in TechNet-21 ). WHO country profiles and the app were revamped to include more information and graphs. In October 2016, partners gathered in Kigali, Rwanda, at the “Meeting on Improving the Availability, Quality and Use of Immunization Data at all levels” to agree on the WHO/UNICEF Join Reporting Form and to jointly discuss strategies for improving the quality and use of immunization data, and to discuss ways to collaborate across partners to reach common data quality objectives. A framework to think about Systems and Data Quality was proposed and presented in meetings organized by the African and the Eastern Mediterranean Regions, it is illustrated here In 2016, the Health Data Collaborative was also launched, representing an important opportunity to coordinate our work on immunization data with the broader health data and M&E agenda. From WHO/HQ, draft guidance on information systems assessment and data desk review, field data quality reviews and data quality improvement plan (DQIP… a new acronym to remember) was drafted and circulated for feedback, and should be ready in 2017. Also, work on vaccination coverage surveys took place with a training for statisticians and several surveys starting to use the new WHO Vaccination Coverage Survey Manual; all or some of the recommendations. Vaccination survey tools, resources and guidance were also added to TechNet-21. Along with implementing quality surveys, dialog is ongoing on defining when is worth investing in a survey and when other methods can be used to inform decision-making. Finally, the working group on home-based records (HBR) continued to work towards ensuring that HBRs are of quality and available in the right place, at the right time and in the right quantity in countries. JSI was engaged in the redesign and promotion of HBRs in Ethiopia and Madagascar; and those experiences and lesson learned are highlighted in two case studies. An updated map with the estimated prevalence of home-based vaccination cards – from DHS and MICS surveys – was produced and an article on reported HBR stock-outs was just published. The WHO webpage on HBRs with all these resources is available at http://www.who.int/immunization/monitoring_surveillance/routine/homebasedrecords/en/.
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