Creating the Architecture of Sustainable Immunization Financing, Pakistan Workshops

Presenter: Maryam Huda

Twitter: Maryam_huda67

Co-authors: Shehla Zaidi, Shreena Malaviya, Farina Abrejo

Poster file: [download]
Relevance and significance of work: The problem is the lack of human resources skilled in financial and economic decision making when critical policies are made that affect the performance of immunization delivery in GAVI countries. There are few opportunities for staff in EPI programs to gain these skills as part of their primary professional training and few resources for them to turn to in mid-career. Local business schools and public health schools in GAVI countries do not offer a curriculum that is tailored to improving decisions related to vaccine economics and financing. If nothing is done, million of dollars will be wasted and lives put at risk because financing priorities are not aligned properly, or because life saving antigens and delivery strategies are not adopted. This work lays out a strategy to improve efficient use of resources by vaccine delivery programs in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). It focuses on capacity development in applied economics, cost effectiveness, and finance for EPI mangers, NiTAG members, and MOH so they can improve resource allocation and priority setting for vaccine delivery programs. With better skills policy makers can improve vaccination program sustainability, efficiency and financial predictability. Methodology The aim of this project was to develop and deploy training material to address critical capacity needs in vaccine economics, costing and financing for vaccine policy makers in GAVI-eligible countries, develop demand for skills in vaccine economics, financing and decision-making and to develop a community of practice and dialogue supplying a pipeline of peers and mentors and veteran policy makers offering capacity building experiences in a network of vaccine policy makers. There were three phases of the project; Phase 1 was inception from December 2016 to February 2017. Faculty from Gates foundation, Johns Hopkins, Makerere, PHFI and Aga Khan University convened to gather consensus on learning objectives, teaching methods and a work plan for content creation. The list of learning objectives was organized into possible modules of training. Phase 2 was producing and piloting drafts of training material from March 2017 to December 2017. The faculty work groups were assigned to construct various course modules including PowerPoint lectures, case studies, exercises, curated readings and instructors’ manuals. This was followed by regional workshops at Kampala, Karachi, Delhi and South Africa. Phase 3 was developing supply and demand for training from January 2018 to November 2018. This included workshops, Open Course ware, international meetings and conferences, social networks, newsletter and peer influence. Results In the last two years, AKU has organized three workshops and one policy round-table, each spanning over 3 days. The workshops brought together 25 participants from Pakistan and Afghanistan that are currently working in immunization in various aspects. The curriculum was taught by health economics experts from AKU, Johns Hopkins University, WHO, World Bank and Chemonics. The modules taught were; 1. Fundamentals of Vaccine Economics 2. Economic Evaluation for New Vaccines and Programs 3. Costing of Immunization Programs 4. Systems, Logistics and Operations of Immunization Programs 5. Financing & Resource tracking of Immunization Programs