The first global training on effective vaccine management by Hailu Makonnen Kenea, Souleymane Kone, and Modibo Dicko from WHO; and Andrew Garnett, consultant. On July 29, 2010, after ten days of intensive and interactive training, 29 global, regional, country, and independent cold chain and logistics individuals completed the first training course on effective vaccine management (EVM) (http://technet21.org/forumV3/ viewtopic.php?t=1446) assessment in Cairo, Egypt. The participants of the first EVM training course will now be able to conduct systematic reviews of in-country immunization supply chains and develop the necessary improvement plans to meet current and future program needs. The training course, jointly sponsored by the Department of Immunization Vaccines and Biologicals (IVB) (http://www.who.int/ immunization/en/) at the World Health Organization (WHO), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) (http://www.unicef.org/immunization/ index.html), and project Optimize (WHO-PATH), comes at a time when vaccine supply chains are facing new challenges resulting from the introduction of new and costlier vaccines with bulkier presentations and novel characteristics. The EVM tool is designed to help logisticians prepare for and manage these challenges successfully. Staff from WHO and UNICEF regional offices, John Snow Inc. (http:// http://www.jsi.com/JSIInternet/index.cfm), the GAVI Alliance (http:// http://www.gavialliance.org/), Ministries of Health representatives, and private logistics consultants participated in the training course, which was provided in both English and French. Course content The first part of the training course focused on the quality management principles behind EVM and introduced participants to the use of the software and guidance materials. Participants then took part in a series of scenario-based training exercises designed to explore the scope of the package and to familiarize attendees with the EVM questionnaire.Participants had an opportunity to apply this course-based knowledge by carrying out a rapid assessment of six facilities within Cairo, covering three levels of the Egyptian immunization supply chain. The outcome of the field visits was then synthesized into a report and a draft improvement plan. The latter part of the training course reviewed the outcomes and lessons learned during the Vietnam, Senegal and Tunisia assessments and also reviewed other related developments designed to improve the immunization supply chain. Next steps The EVM software tool has been field-tested in Ethiopia and Pakistan and was subsequently used to conduct formal assessments in Vietnam, Senegal, and Tunisia. The first official release of the EVM software package will be announced shortly. It is hoped that the EVM initiative, and the training and advocacy which support it, will provide a solid foundation for a continual cycle of assessment, follow-up, and reassessment, ensuring the quality of the supply chain remains satisfactory in all countries. We invite you to comment on or post a question relating to this article by clicking the “post reply” button on this page. You will have to log in or register; the process is very simple. ##text##
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