Last week, UNICEF hosted a meeting where experts with a combined 1,000 years of practice in cold chain maintenance discussed some of the current challenges and opportunities related to cold chain maintenance and temperature monitoring at the country level. This blog highlights some of the key themes that came out of the meeting.
Ultimately, preparing for outbreaks begins long before the first case and must entail a strong routine immunization system that provides vaccinations to all target groups, regular communication and education of the public, regular upskilling of health workers, strong surveillance, prepositioning and stockpiling vaccines and appropriate medicines.
inSupply convened 30 county-level public health leaders from 10 counties and their national partners in Machakos, Kenya to launch the IMPACT Team Network approach for collaboratively solving supply chain problems through teamwork, data analysis, and continuous improvement.
Immunization supply chains managers should be thinking about how to use new technology and innovative ideas to deliver more product, faster, and at a lower cost. We aren’t looking for Amazon Prime and delivery in an hour (although that would be nice). What is needed, though, is a reliable and efficient supply chain system that guarantees that all children can be immunized.
Sometimes, simpler solutions like paper cards are more efficient and usable than technology – particularly where they are needed most and where mobile services, electricity, the internet, and computers are not reliably available. Also, often the paper cards – when their value is emphasized and understood – can “live on” longer than the ever-changing and limited archival storage of electronic systems. A combination of both can be very effective.
In Madagascar, JSI supported the introduction of HPV vaccine in a two-phase pilot. Lora Shimp and Heather Casciato share the key lessons learned from the program for World Immunization Week.
Today is Innovation Day during World Immunization Week, and there are a lot of innovative ideas out there to reach every child. But innovation doesn’t always require radical new ideas. Sometimes it simply means challenging traditional approaches based on current information. For immunization supply chains, that means changing over 40 years of custom to embrace state-of-the-art commercial best practices.
As we celebrate World Immunization Week April 24-30, 2016, it’s important to remember that one way to “close the gap” on immunization services is by re-examining the wealth of data currently available at the country level and empowering health workers to leverage their historical data to reach their target populations more effectively.
JSI is working to increase immunization rates in Ethiopia through implementation of the Reaching Every District Quality Improvement (RED-QI) approach to promote continuous learning and improvement of the routine immunization system.
HPV affects millions and millions of people. HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection, and an estimated 20 million people have the active virus at any time, according to WHO. While in the U.S., the HPV vaccine was licensed for girls in 2006, and for boys in 2009, in many other countries, the vaccine is only just being rolled out now. JSI’s Allison Hackbarth and Vanessa Richart describes efforts being made internationally in and in the U.S. to expand access to HPV vaccine.