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Immunization Focus

August 2000

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NEWS

The ball is rolling

Table of countries approved for Fund support

THE FIRST countries to receive approval for support from the Vaccine Fund have received the good news. Letters from GAVI were sent to the countries just before Immunization Focus went to press. The first payments and supplies of vaccine are on track to be released by November.

An independent review committee met to assess the proposals in mid-July. Its six members, from Ghana, Tanzania, the Philippines, Mali, the US and Thailand, included immunization programme managers and a health minister ( 1 ). The committee’s recommendations were endorsed by the GAVI Board. In total, 17 countries submitted proposals that contained enough information for review. Of these, 15 received approval, conditional in some cases on the countries’ ability to demonstrate that they could meet specific requirements. Remaining countries have been requested to re-submit their proposals.

Some clear lessons emerged from this brand-new process, however. One is that the guidelines and proposal application form need to be improved. Some governments appeared not to have understood fully the need for detailed quantitative information about their immunization programmes. In fact, the review committee decided that all the approved countries need to provide further information before funds can be released – for example, in spelling out how they plan to mobilize the resources to pay for newly introduced vaccines in the medium to long term. "In GAVI we should foster quality," says Maritel Costales, a member of the committee, and previously the immunization programme manager for the Philippines. The countries have been asked to produce the information by 1 September.

"This was our first time; it was difficult," said Costales. "We have learnt from our experience, but I am confident that the process is a good one."

The countries that received approval for one or both forms of Fund support, subject to providing additional information, are: Bhutan, Cambodia, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Guyana, Kenya, Kyrgyz Republic, the Laos People’s Democratic Republic, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Pakistan, Rwanda (for immunization services); and Tanzania.

 

Jens Stoltenburg  Leif R Jansson/SCANPIX
 
Injection of hope:
in June, Norway’s PM Jens Stoltenberg pledged US$125 million over five years to children’s immunization in low-income countries
   

  • For more about the proposal process and its effects in some African countries see Grassroots

 

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