quality immunization services depend on strong programme management. It has been decided
that basic management skills at the national and/or sub-national level should be updated
to better cope with the current climate of decentralization and increasing demands. This
will integrate EPI better into the delivery of other health services programmes.
A UNF/UNFIP project, housed in WHO/HQ/V&B, has begun
as a collaborative effort between headquarters, regional and national offices of WHO and
UNICEF. Its purpose is to strengthen immunization systems by developing an integrated set
of management tools and materials for the strategic planning, management and co-ordination
of national immunization programmes.
The overall goals
To build sustainable managerial capacity for immunization
services, · improve vaccine delivery systems efficiency and effectiveness · ensure that
all children at risk are protected against vaccine-preventable disease.
The project will also establish the regional and national
electronic capacity to support, update and train EPI managers through the creation of a
strong and on-going training component targeted at programme management. All materials
will be developed co-operatively with regional and national health sector personnel
engaged in the delivery of immunization services. The project has tentatively identified
the pilot countries to be: Mali, Nigeria, Tanzania, Zambia for the initial field-testing,
with later testing in Madagascar, Malawi, Senegal and Zimbabwe. A robust and flexible
project design will permit its adaptation to other regions.