PARIS and GENEVA, July 21, 2011 /PRNewswire/ --
The Agence de Médecine Préventive (AMP) and the World Health Organization (WHO) have received two grants totaling US$6 million from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to provide technical support to increase the capacity and competence of health logisticians in sub-Saharan Africa.
The project, called "LOGIVAC", will establish two regional health logistics reference centers to offer professional training and certification for logisticians. In addition, it will develop a model for an innovative logistics system to demonstrate the impact of using certified logisticians on immunization program performance. AMP and WHO will implement project activities in collaboration with regional public and private partners.
Strong health logistics and vaccine management are necessary to effectively deliver life-saving immunization services. However, the logistics systems in many developing countries, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa, suffer from weak infrastructure, inadequate essential services such as transportation and information technology, and shortage of skilled human resources. This contributes to vaccine management issues including wasted vaccine doses and supply shortages, leading to missed opportunities for vaccinating children.
As new, more expensive vaccines become available, the stakes are even higher for health logistics. Adding more vaccines to routine immunization schedules requires the enhancement of supply chain management and operations. Health logisticians should have the know-how to ensure proper vaccine storage and transportation, guaranteeing systematic and timely vaccine delivery, and maintaining the cold chain, which keeps the vaccines at controlled temperatures.
"Strong immunization services are essential to sustain past gains and to ensure that new, more expensive vaccines with high public health impact are properly introduced," said Dr. da Silva, executive director of AMP. "A key success factor is having highly trained and certified health logisticians who are capable of making sure that vaccines are delivered to the right place at the right time and in the right conditions."
According to Dr. Rudi Eggers from the Department of Immunization, Vaccines and Biologicals at WHO, this grant marks an important step towards ensuring the long-term sustainability of health logistics in sub-Saharan Africa. "By developing training and certification programs for health logisticians based on local needs, we hope to not only fill an important gap but also to illustrate that a well-trained logistics workforce can have a measureable impact on the performance of immunization programs across the continent."
Founded in 1972, AMP is a nonprofit organization with headquarters at the Institut Pasteur in Paris and offices in Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire, Togo, and Vietnam. AMP is dedicated to improving the health and well-being of those most in need across the globe. Along with our public- and private-sector partners, we aim to:
- Enhance scientific knowledge in support of evidence-based health policies
- Strengthen immunization service delivery, logistics, and innovation
- Develop human and institutional capacity for improved health system performance
Learn more: http://www.aamp.org
WHO is the directing and coordinating authority on international health within the United Nations system. WHO is responsible for providing leadership on global health matters, shaping the health research agenda, setting norms and standards, articulating evidence- based policy options, providing technical support to countries and monitoring and assessing health trends. For more information on WHO and its work, please visit: http://www.who.int
SOURCE Agence de Medecine Preventive (AMP)