Authors: Grace Chee and Elizabeth Ohadi
The theme for LNCT’s network-wide meeting this year in Indonesia is Resource Mobilization: Moving Beyond Vaccines. As countries prepare to transition away from Gavi funding, so much of the initial focus is on where to find the domestic resources to pay for the vaccines supported by Gavi. Of course, there is good reason for this – without vaccines there would be no immunization program. However, to quote others before us, vaccines don’t deliver themselves.
Implementing an effective immunization program requires so much more than just vaccines. It requires health workers available where and when needed to deliver immunization services. It requires transport and fuel to get providers and vaccines to even the most remote areas. It requires refrigerators (and technicians to keep them running) so vaccines can be stored at or near service delivery points at the appropriate temperature to maintain quality. It requires education and communication to provide accurate information about the importance and availability of vaccines. On top of all this, it requires strong management and planning at district and local levels to make effective use these multiple inputs.
Our upcoming meeting will bring together government delegates from 17 countries across the stages of transition and representatives from Gavi, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, UNICEF, World Health Organization, Clinton Health Access Initiative, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine to share experiences with confronting and overcoming transition- and resource mobilization-related challenges.
The country delegates, with representation from ministries of health and finance, national health insurance institutions, and national centers for disease control, will work together to develop new strategies for mobilizing underutilized budget sources needed to deliver quality immunization services. There will also be sessions on engaging the private sector, improving vaccine procurement, addressing vaccine hesitancy, and managing immunization within countries expanding national health insurance. And, we are planning visits to the Indonesian health insurance administrator, and with provincial and district officials will help us see Indonesian policies put in action.
We hope you are excited about engaging with fellow network members (including several new countries) in Indonesia! Please share what you are looking forward to, countries you want to learn from, and challenges you’d like to discuss by leaving a comment below or responding on our discussion thread for the meeting.
And if you cannot make it to the meeting this year, please follow along on Twitter and Facebook and keep an eye out for recordings of some sessions that will be posted to our website. We look forward to seeing everyone soon!