LNCT Member Newsletter September 2019

LNCT Updates

LNCT-VPPN Held Second Joint Regional Vaccine Procurement Workshop
The Learning Network for Countries in Transition (LNCT) and UNICEF’s Vaccine Procurement Practitioners Network (VPPN), in collaboration with the National Institute of Vaccines (NVI) Thailand, recently held their second joint sub-regional vaccine procurement workshop in Yangon, Myanmar. The primary focus of the workshop was sustainable introduction of new vaccines to national immunization programs, with the addition of a focus on vaccine security. Nine countries were brought together to learn from global experts and other countries the best practices to address identified challenges to ensure the sustained, uninterrupted supply of affordable, vaccines of assured quality. Materials from the workshop can be viewed by members on the website*Note: You will need to log-in to see the materials.

Georgia’s Introduction of the Hexavalent Vaccine: Lessons on Successful Procurement and Advocacy 
Georgia, which transitioned to fully self-financing in 2018, has a high performing national immunization program but still faces challenges related to procurement of vaccines. Many of their vaccines are procured through UNICEF Supply Division, but when the country decided to introduce hexavalent vaccine (DTP-HepB-Hib-IPV), it was not yet available through UNICEF procurement. Despite Georgia’s smaller market size, they were able to successfully self-procure the hexavalent vaccine. Our new blog highlights some of the key actions by Georgian stakeholders that resulted in this important achievement.

LET’S DISCUSS: Transition Talks
Earlier this month, LNCT launched a new discussion forum series titled Transition Talks. Transition Talks are bi-weekly discussions on topics LNCT countries have expressed an interest in. The first discussion topic*, which was posted on September 4th, was around vaccine hesitancy. The second topic in the series, posted on September 17th, is about vaccine registration challenges in your country. Members are encouraged to share their experiences and ask other countries questions about theirs. *Note: You will need to log-in to respond in the discussion forum.

Photos from 2019 Network-wide Meeting Now Online
LNCT Network Coordinators are pleased to share that photos from our 2019 network-wide meeting are now available on the LNCT site.

Practitioner Perspectives: Video Interviews from 2019 Network-Wide Meeting
During our network-wide meeting, which took place in Tangerang, Indonesia in July 2019, we sat down with a few participants to hear about their experiences related to topics around their Gavi transition experiences. Find out more in the Country Spotlight section below! Additional interviews will be posted on the website over the coming weeks, so please keep checking back.

Country Spotlight

Indonesia’s Advice for Countries in Early Stages of Transition
This video interview features Hashta Meyta, Technical Staff, EPI Unit Directorate of Surveillance and Health Quarantine Ministry of Health and Imam Subekti, Executive Secretary for Gavi Project, Directorate of Surveillance and Health Quarantine Ministry of Health, from Indonesia. In the interview, they answer questions on some of the transition-related challenges Indonesia has overcome plus offer advice to countries in the earlier stages of the transition! This interview was conducted by Irine Javakhadze, Chief Specialist, Consolidated Budget Formulation Division, Ministry of Finance, Georgia. 

Ghana’s Key Takeaways from National Health Insurance Workshop
What did LNCT members from Ghana learn in our National Health Insurance Workshop, which was held on July 3, 2019 in Tangerang, Indonesia? Listen to key takeaways from the workshop in this new interview with Kwame Amponsa-Achiano, New Vaccine and Vaccine Safety Coordinator, EPI, Ghana and Yaw Opoku-Boateng, Deputy Director, Quality Assurance, Ghana. This interview was conducted by Bouaphat Phonvixay, Deputy Director of National Health Insurance Bureau, Lao PDR and Panome Sayamoungkhoun, EPI Manager, Lao PDR.

Nigeria’s Community Engagement Strategy
What challenges and successes has Nigeria experienced during the implementation of their community engagement strategy in 9 states?  Check out this interview exchange with Dr. Garba Bello Bakunawa, Gavi Focal Desk Officer, National Primary Healthcare Development Agency, Nigeria and Elseddig Eltayeb Elsamani, EPI Manager, Sudan to find out!

Highlights from our Partners

Materials Now Available from the International Health Economics Association (iHEA) Pre-Congress Session on Immunization Economics
As part of the 2019 iHEA biennial world congress in Basel, Switzerland, the Immunization Economics Special Interest Group (SIG) organized a pre-congress session on July 13-14 focused around the generation and use of information surrounding immunization costing, financing, and value of vaccination. All materials, presentations, photos, and reports from the Immunization Economics iHEA pre-congress session can now be accessed here.

Featured Resources

Progress on Combating Vaccine Misinformation on Social Media
Facebook and Pinterest are rolling out new strategies to help combat vaccine misinformation on their platforms. When users search search for “measles,” “vaccine safety” and other related health terms, they will now be directed to information about immunizations from leading public health organizations, including the World Health Organization (WHO), the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the WHO-established Vaccine Safety Net (VSN), a global network of websites providing reliable vaccine safety information in various languages.

The Costs of Delivering Vaccines in Low- and Middle-income Countries: Findings from a Systematic Review
Information on immunization delivery costs (IDCs) is essential for better planning and budgeting for the sustainability and performance of national programs. However, delivery cost evidence is fragmented and of variable quality, making it difficult for policymakers, planners, and other stakeholders to understand and use. This study aimed to consolidate and summarize the evidence on delivery costs, answering the question: What are the unit costs of vaccine delivery across low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) and through a variety of delivery strategies?

Looking Ahead

Vaccine Hesitancy Workshop to be Held in Geneva November 18-19
LNCT and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine’s Vaccine Confidence Project will be holding a workshop in Geneva, Switzerland on November 18-19 to support countries in addressing vaccine hesitancy. The two-day workshop will bring together participants from six countries – Armenia, Georgia, Ghana, Lao PDR, Vietnam, and Uzbekistan – that have indicated vaccine hesitancy as a priority topic to co-create tools and strategies to assess and address vaccine hesitancy. Participants will explore LSHTM’s initial findings on vaccine hesitancy related challenges and the strategies countries are using to address them, learn from one another’s challenges and successes in addressing hesitancy, understand the array of tools that are available to assess and address hesitancy, adapt those tools to their country context and develop action plans to implement those tools. Co-developed tools and materials will be available for all LNCT members following the workshop.

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