LNCT Member Newsletter January 2020

LNCT Updates

CALL FOR APPLICATIONS: LNCT Sponsoring Scholarships for Individuals from LNCT Member Countries to Attend Training Workshops on Economics and Financing
LNCT is sponsoring a scholarship program for individuals from LNCT member countries to attend select Teaching Vaccine Economics Everywhere (TVEE) training workshops in their region. TVEE workshops help participants to strengthen skills related to economics and financing of national immunization programs and to improve the sustainability of vaccine delivery in low and middle-income countries. The LNCT TVEE scholarship will cover airfare, hotel accommodation, transportation, per diem, and tuition. Only 2-4 scholarships will be awarded per workshop, with a maximum of 2 scholarships awarded per country.

To be eligible to apply for the LNCT scholarship, an individual must be from a LNCT country in the region of the workshop and involved in the planning and implementation of immunization programs, including government representatives (national-, regional-, state-, or district-level) engaged with immunization, NITAG members, and other immunization policy makers.

The next TVEE workshop, taking place in Bangkok, Thailand from 24-26 March, will provide beginner content in costing and economic evaluation, with a deeper look into costing methodology, decision analysis, and cost-effectiveness modeling. Upon completion of the workshop, participants will be able to better understand and apply economic information to immunization policy decision making.

Individuals from the following countries are eligible to apply for a LNCT scholarship to attend this workshop: India, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Timor Leste, Uzbekistan, and Vietnam. This workshop will be conducted in English, therefore English reading and speaking capabilities are required for participation. Additional scholarship opportunities for other LNCT countries may be available as TVEE courses are confirmed in other regions.

To apply for the scholarship for the Thailand workshop, interested individuals that meet the eligibility requirements should submit the following information to LNCT Network Coordinators at info@lnct.global no later than Thursday, 30 January 2020.

  1. Completed scholarship application
  2. Current CV
  3. Signed letter from supervisor acknowledging approval to attend the workshop should the applicant be awarded the scholarship

For more information on the scholarship program or eligibility criteria, please see the LNCT website.

An independent consultant will be conducting an assessment of LNCT over the next two months to provide input to the future strategic direction of the network. This assessment will include interviews with members from LNCT countries, partners, technical facilitators, and Network Coordinators. Some of you will be contacted to set-up an interview with the independent consultant for this evaluation. If you are contacted, please promptly respond with your availability. We are also requesting member feedback regarding the website in an online survey, which will be shared soon. Your responses will help shape future knowledge sharing activities and ensure that you get the most out of your collaboration with LNCT.

NEW BLOG: Takeaways from the LNCT Vaccine Hesitancy Workshop
On November 18-19, 2019, delegates from the Learning Network for Countries in Transition (LNCT) participated in a vaccine hesitancy workshop in Geneva, Switzerland. The meeting brought together 12 actively engaged LNCT members from Armenia, Georgia, Ghana, Lao PDR, Uzbekistan and Vietnam with experts from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), Gavi, Curatio International Foundation, WHO, UNICEF, Common Thread, and Results for Development. LNCT member participants included key representatives from Ministries of Health, EPI managers, and global and country-level partners. With a focus on building trust, social media monitoring, managing safety perceptions, health worker hesitancy, and engaging minority and vulnerable populations, participants shared experiences, identified global and regional tools to address challenges, and developed action plans, which they will now implement with follow-up support from LNCT and partners. Read about the key takeaways that emerged from the workshop in our new blog.

Materials from Two Recent LNCT Webinars Now Available Online

LNCT is pleased to share presentation materials from two recent webinars held in November and December:

  1. Strengthening Public-Private Engagement for Immunization Delivery

    This webinar featured key findings and observations from case studies on different ways that the MoH engages with private sector providers to support immunization program performance, as well as presentations from two countries – Malawi and Georgia – with different models for engaging with private providers.

  2. Implementing a High Performing Immunization Program Within the Context of NHI with Lessons from Thailand

    This 90-minute webinar began with an overview of the Thai health system before describing how two key actors, the EPI unit within the Ministry of Public Health and the National Health Security Office, the national health insurance administrator, work together to ensure a high performing immunization program.

Country Spotlight

Practitioner Perspectives: What progress in addressing vaccine hesitancy has Vietnam seen from implementing strategies such as health worker training and partnerships with journalists?
During our recent vaccine hesitancy workshop, we interviewed Dang Thi Tanh Huyen, Vice Head of National EPI office, Vietnam, to hear about Vietnam’s challenges with low vaccine confidence in health workers and vaccine misinformation and the strategies they’ve implemented to help address those challenges. Listen to the interview here

Practitioner Perspectives: How is Armenia addressing low vaccine confidence in medical workers?
In partnership with the World Health Organization (WHO), Armenia implemented a project to understand the factors that impact parent’s decision to vaccinate and found that many medical workers advise them to not vaccinate. This interview with Svetlana Grigoryan, Head of Immunization and Epidemiology, Vaccine Preventable Diseases Department, Armenia, illustrates the steps Armenia has since taken to address the challenge of low vaccine confidence in medical workers. 

Highlights from our Partners

UNICEF Developing e-Learning Modules on Vaccine Procurement
UNICEF is working with Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, and other Alliance partners including LNCT, to develop a vaccine procurement assessment toolbox. The toolbox is a compilation of resources that provides guidance for those engaged in vaccine procurement, who would like to assess their procurement processes. It is not another stand-alone assessment tool, but rather provides a methodology for procurement practitioners to identify the key aspects of the procurement system for immunization supplies that need to be covered in an assessment, as well as selected parameters that can be considered for further adaptation in such an assessment. The content of the tool is still under review by partners. If you are interested as a government counterpart and LNCT member in piloting the assessment tool website and providing comments and feedback, please send an email to info@lnct.global. An invite may be sent to you to access the website.

The International Association of Immunization Managers (IAIM) Network is Now Boost!
Boost, formally known as the IAIM Network, is a global community that enables immunization professionals to connect with peers and experts, learn skills that build capacity and advance careers, and lead immunization programs in challenging contexts. The community, powered by Sabin Vaccine Institute, has re-branded to better reflect the important role of immunization professionals around the world, generate excitement, and mark a shift in approach. The accompanying new online platform will provide immunization professionals with access to trainings and resources around management and leadership as well as a community of peers where they can share their knowledge and experiences.

Learn more about the Boost platform and sign up (free access) to become a member of the community today.

Featured Resources

WHO Global Spending on Health: A World in Transition
2019 report, Global health spending: A world in transition, examines how countries progress towards financing UHC in a world in transition. The report highlights how most countries that experienced high rates of economic growth also undertook a health financing transition towards increasing the share of health spending funded publicly, while the transition from aid is slower. The health financing transition is also accompanied by a transition of institutions with increased pooling and increased public financing. And while there is more and more evidence on the levels of spending on PHC, more analysis is needed to understand how countries can ensure adequate financing for the primary health care priority.

Mind the Gaps: Takeaways from Emerging Research and Policy Implications for Aid Transition in Health and Development
Earlier this year, the Center for Global Development (CGD) convened a workshop with leading experts from multilateral and bilateral institutions, government departments and agencies, research organizations, and NGOs to discuss findings from recent research on upcoming aid transitions in middle-income countries. The group also considered the policy implications for sustained heath and development impact, public financing, fiscal management, and aid eligibility policies and their implementation. This workshop—the first in a series of meetings—closely relates to CGD’s ongoing research exploring transitions in global health financing. Here’s a summary of seven key takeaways that emerged from the workshop discussions.

Global Vaccine Action Plan 2011–2020: Review and Lessons Learned
The Global Vaccine Action Plan 2011–2020 (GVAP) was developed to help realize the vision of the Decade of Vaccines, that all individuals and communities enjoy lives free from vaccine-preventable diseases. As the decade draws to a close, it is time to take stock of the progress made under GVAP and to apply the lessons learned to the global immunization strategy for the next decade. This report includes a review of progress toward GVAP’s goals and objectives and the perceptions of stakeholders, reflections on lessons learned from GVAP, and recommendations for the development, content and implementation of the next global immunization strategy.

Re-evaluating the Potential Impact and Cost-effectiveness of Rotavirus Vaccination in 73 Gavi Countries: A Modelling Study
While previous studies have found rotavirus vaccination to be highly cost-effective in low-income countries, updated evidence is now available for several inputs (ie, rotavirus disease mortality rates, rotavirus age distributions, vaccine timeliness, and vaccine efficacy by duration of follow-up), new rotavirus vaccines have entered the market, vaccine prices have decreased, and cost-effectiveness thresholds have been re-examined. This new study provides updated cost-effectiveness estimates to inform national decisions about the new introduction and current use of rotavirus vaccines in Gavi countries. The study found that rotavirus vaccination continues to represent good value for money across most Gavi countries despite lower rotavirus mortality estimates and more stringent willingness-to-pay thresholds.

Looking Ahead

Upcoming LNCT Webinar: Addressing Vaccine Hesitancy Challenges
LNCT is hosting a webinar on February 6th featuring country experiences related to vaccine hesitancy challenges. The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine will present a summary of the key issues and lessons learned during LNCT’s vaccine hesitancy workshop which took place in Geneva in November 2019. Armenia will share their experience introducing the HPV vaccination, challenges (including on social media), what worked, and lessons learned. Ghana will share lessons learned in building healthcare worker confidence to address questions and concerns. The webinar will conclude with 15 minutes of a moderated question & answer discussion with the panelists. Register for the webinar here.

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