Abt’s study on the role of private sector providers in immunization in three low and middle-income countries – Benin, Malawi, and Georgia examines1) the proportion of vaccinations taking place through the private sector; 2) private expenditures for vaccination; and 3) whether the Ministries of Health are supporting vaccination services provided through the private sector. Surveys and exit interviews revealed that the three countries had different models of private service delivery for provision of vaccination. In Malawi, 44% of private facilities, predominantly faith-based organizations, provided vaccination and administered an estimated 27% of total vaccinations. In Benin, 18% of private facilities provided vaccinations, accounting for 7% of total EPI program vaccinations. In Georgia, all facilities were privately managed and 100% of private vaccinations were conducted at these facilities. In all three countries, the Ministry of Health supplied vaccines and other support to all types of private facilities. While the private sector is playing an important role in low- and middle-income countries to improve access to vaccination, and while it supports governments to move towards universal health coverage, the governments’ ability to regulate and monitor immunization services and promote quality and affordable services in the private sector remains a challenge.
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