Linked Community News June 2023

This edition of the newsletter is available in English, Portuguese, Spanish, and Russian.

The Linked community is so thrilled to have gotten opportunities over the past several weeks to meet in person and exchange lessons on strengthening the capacity and motivation of the health workforce and providing effective supportive supervision.

In early June, stakeholders from the European region met in Batumi, Georgia, to discuss workable strategies, approaches, good practices, and lessons learned to foster a continuous learning environment and ensure the uptake of new knowledge from countries’ formal training and capacity building efforts.

And just this past week, stakeholders from the Asia Pacific region participated in a study tour to gain a deep, nuanced understanding of how supportive supervision is emphasized and integrated within the Sri Lankan health system, reflect on how supportive supervision is approached in their own immunisation programmes, and explore how strategies and best practices that work in Sri Lanka can be adapted to strengthen programmes in their home countries.

We look forward to continuing the momentum of peer-to-peer collaborative learning in an additional workshop next month in Istanbul, Turkey, which will invite participants across regions to exchange challenges, approaches, good practices, and lessons learned in the introduction and roll-out of the HPV vaccine.

You don’t want to miss any of the learnings that come from these workshops and we are excited to announce the launch of a Linked Immunisation Action Network page on LinkedIn to ensure you stay in the loop on news, updates, and resources relevant to the Linked community. Please be sure to follow and share with your networks!

Finally, this newsletter contains many intriguing and relevant resources and stories from around the world, like Bangladesh’s experience reaching zero-dose children in remote farming regions, innovative approaches to learning and performance management for health workers, and a brief examining the economic costs of Rotavirus and the value of the Rotavirus vaccine.

Stay tuned for more cross-country learnings in the weeks ahead!

Warm regards,

Gayane Sahakyan, National Immunisation Programme Manager, Ministry of Health, Armenia, and Linked Steering Committee Representative

NETWORK UPDATES

Check out these Resources from our Workshop on Strengthening Health Worker (HW) Capacity and Performance Management
Human resources play a key role in demand generation and increasing immunisation coverage as the perceptions, knowledge, and experience of health workers strongly affects receptivity and uptake of vaccination among populations. At the same time, multiple factors influence the performance of HWs in improving immunisation programming, and motivation has been frequently cited by many Linked countries as a critical area for improvement. Earlier this month, country immunisation stakeholders from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova, Uzbekistan, and Ukraine, as well as global experts, exchanged workable strategies, approaches, good practices, and lessons learned to foster a continuous learning environment and ensure the uptake of new knowledge from countries’ formal training and capacity building efforts. Don’t miss out on the learnings and be sure to check out the workshop presentations and country posters on our website!

How Armenia uses its engagement with Linked to strengthen its immunisation programme
Linked recently had the opportunity to sit down with Gayane Sahakyan, Armenia’s Deputy General Director of the National Center for Disease Control and National Immunisation Program Manager, to discuss how Armenia’s participation in Linked activities contributes to efforts to strengthen its immunisation programme. Curious to know how learnings from a regional Linked workshop have improved Armenia’s performance management and monitoring of health workers and strengthened their capacities to provide immunisation services? Find out in our new Practitioner Perspectives blog.

Follow the Linked Immunisation Action Network on LinkedIn!
We are excited to announce the launch of our Linked Immunisation Action Network page on LinkedIn. This page will feature timely news, network updates, and key resources from our community and will enable you to connect with other community members. Please follow our new page and share widely with your colleagues and networks!

FEATURED NEWS & RESOURCES

Gavi Announces One Billion Children Immunised with Routine Vaccines
Improved access to vaccines has changed the lives of millions of people in lower income countries. Since its inception, Gavi has protected an entire generation of children from potentially fatal infectious diseases, helping to halve child mortality and driving record numbers of immunisation in 2022. During Gavi’s 2023 Mid-Term Review, it was announced that Gavi has immunised over one billion children with routine vaccines since its inception in 2000. Read more about Gavi’s achievements and progress towards their objectives in this Mid-Term Review Report, Raising Generation ImmUnity.

State of the World’s Children: For Every Child, Vaccination
Drawing on lessons learned during the pandemic and from UNICEF’s decades-long expertise and experience in vaccinating children, this report examines the ways in which primary health care can be strengthened to better support immunisation services, concerns around trust in vaccines, and a range of innovations in vaccine development, delivery, and financing.

Deliver, Together: Partnerships to Deliver Vaccines in a Pandemic: Learning from COVID-19 Vaccine Delivery
This report documents the global delivery support model for COVID-19 vaccine delivery, highlights the key functions that were needed for delivery support, and synthesizes key learnings for the design, development and implementation of a future vaccine (and other medical countermeasures) delivery mechanism in emergency settings.

Leveraging COVID-19 Immunization in Burkina Faso to Reach Unvaccinated Children
This story of impact, produced by MOMENTUM, explores how Burkina Faso used an integrated approach to increase the number of individuals who received their second COVID-19 dose, while also addressing barriers to reaching children with routine immunisation.

Harnessing the Power of Vaccines in Jordan: Steps in introducing the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV)
This blog illustrates Jordan’s experience with Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine (PCV) introduction, outlining novel approaches to advocacy and steps to create a supportive environment for new vaccine introduction.

Brief on Economic Costs of Rotavirus and the Value of Vaccines
This brief, developed by the Rotavirus Organization of Technical Allies (ROTA), examines the cost of rotavirus to governments, health systems, and families, the affordability of the rotavirus vaccine, and the value of these vaccines. The brief also features a global analysis which found that improving the timeliness and coverage of rotavirus vaccination can substantially increase its impact and cost-effectiveness.

Handbook of Applied Health Economics in Vaccines
This handbook, aimed at individuals undertaking economic evaluation of vaccine programmes, explains the vaccine development and financing landscape and the principles that invalidate standard market-based approaches to vaccine discovery and distribution and illustrates tools to determine costs and benefits of vaccination from various perspectives.

How Rethinking Health Worker Learning and Performance Management Can Help Reach Zero-Dose Children
When health workers perform well, they’re providing high-quality services, which is crucial for increasing the likelihood of desired health outcomes – and which actually helps to relieve the burden on them to an extent. Learn some of the specific innovative approaches to learning and performance management, implementation considerations, and country case studies in this Vaccines Work story.

Submissions Open for Special Issue of Vaccines on Estimating Vaccines’ Value and Impact
Vaccines is inviting contributions to an upcoming Special Issue on “Estimating Vaccines’ Value and Impact.” Original research articles and reviews with insights on how the “full” value of vaccines can be assessed or was assessed by you are welcome. The manuscript submission deadline is January 15, 2024; more information on how to submit can be found here.

COUNTRY SPOTLIGHTS

Going mobile to reach Bangladesh’s zero-dose children
Each morning, weather permitting, a team of health workers sets off from the Thanchi clinic in the Bandarban region of Bangladesh. Their goal is to reach children in remote villages, high up in the Chittagong Hill Tracts, to protect them against vaccine preventable diseases. Learn about their journey helping farming families and factory workers get their children vaccinated.

How vaccines are protecting girls in Rwanda from a cancer-causing virus
Rwanda was one of the first African countries to implement a national school-based HPV vaccination programme, with consistently high (≥90%) coverage over the past decade. A study in Lancet Global Health assessed the vaccine’s effectiveness in the cohort of girls vaccinated in 2011 who are now becoming sexually active. Explore key findings of the vaccine’s effectiveness in protecting one in two girls from one of the biggest causes of cervical cancer.

The world’s largest immunisation programme is going massively, ambitiously digital
India’s Universal Immunisation Programme (UIP), the world’s largest vaccination effort, is going digital, with the U-WIN portal – a mobile app and centralised information management system – that will be a game-changer for mothers and infants in India. Learn about the implementation of this innovative digital portal, which will allow users with a mobile phone to book in for a specific vaccination slot at a specific center.

EXTERNAL EVENTS

First inter-country peer learning exchange by the Gavi Zero-Dose Learning Hub
The Zero-Dose Community of Practice held a learning exchange that offered a unique opportunity for participants to learn from the experiences, successes, challenges, and lessons learned by health professionals from Bangladesh and Mali, representing different levels of the health system, including government and civil society organizations (CSOs), in identifying and reaching zero-dose children and missed communities. In case you missed it, be sure to check out the recordings of the learning session – available in English and French.

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