Asia NGO Workshop: Strengthening the Impact of Asia's NGO Community Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (MNCH) Interventions - Immunization

24-26 FEBRUARY 2009 | MANILA, PHILIPPPINES

24-26 FEBRUARY 2009 | MANILA, Philippines - Twenty-seven international and national non-governmental organization (NGOs) from across Asia convened for a regional NGO workshop on maternal, newborn and child health (MNCH). Hosted by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and Save the Children (STC) with the support of Glaxo Smith Kline (GSK), this landmark event provided for the first time a unique and intimate forum for some of the region0s most experienced NGOs to share their perspectives, experiences and approaches in implementing MNCH and Immunization programs in Asia.

Official development agencies from Australia, Canada, Norway and the United Sates, along with representatives from Asian Development Bank, World Bank, the United Nations Children's Fund and the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization also participated in the workshop.

The first day of the workshop focused on MNCH interventions in general. The NGO participants brought their experience to bear on the questions of how to strengthen efforts to mobilize resources for MNCH programs and interventions, how to generate greater political will for MNCH financing and creative programming, how to play a larger and more effective role in delivering MNCH services, and how to better communicate the importance of MNCH interventions at the community level. Participants agreed that all of these challenges must be elevated as priorities for NGOs moving forward.

The second day discussed a proven MNCH intervention: immunization. Against the backdrop of varying immunization rates and different levels of development between and within Asian countries, participants shared best practices and crafted strategies for how to improve vaccine availability and uptake for both Expanded Program on Immunization (EPI) vaccines and new and under-utilized vaccines (NUV) through enhanced advocacy, innovative programming, and creative partnerships.

One of the key follow-up actions identified by participants at the workshop was to consider the establishment of a regional network of NGOs as a means to improve inter-NGO communications and collaboration. In response to this recommendation, GSK hosted a session at the May 2009 Global Health Conference (Washington, D.C.), New Horizons for Partnership: The Voice of Civil Society in Immunization during which panelists representing the ADB, Save the Children, Jhpiego and IMMUNIZATIONBasics deliberated on the possibilities for collective advocacy around immunization such as through a constituency of NGOs.

Prior to the February workshop, NGO participants were asked to submit a case study and poster describing a program or initiative that aimed to improve MNCH, especially through immunization. These twenty-three case studies have been published together with the full proceedings and are available to download below. Hard copies of these reports are available upon request. Send a REQUEST FOR PUBLICATION – Asia NGO Workshop to: pmnch@who.int

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