Continuous capacity building of EPI managers is key in achieving the goals of the immunisation programme and implementation of EPI disease control, elimination and eradication services in line with current global and regional immunisation policies and strategies, e.g. AFRO Regional Strategy for 2009-2013, GIVS (2005-2015) and Decade of Vaccines (2011-2020).
In this context, WHO/AFRO organised an EPI Mid-Level Management (MLM) inter-country course for francophone countries in Ivory Coast, in collaboration/partnership with the Ministry of Health of Ivory Coast, UNICEF, NESI, and other partners e.g. USAID, AMP, MCHIP, CDC and GAVI.
EPI managers and other EPI staff, teachers from health training institutions and immunisation focal staff from WHO/UNICEF country and regional offices participated. A total of 57 participants and 18 facilitators attended the course. Participants came from the following countries: Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroun, Comoros, Congo (Brazzaville), Ivory Coast, Gabon, Guinea Conakry, Equatorial Guinea, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Senegal, Chad and Togo.
The objectives of the 2012 EPI MLM course were:
- To ensure participants are aware of their roles and responsibilities as EPI managers and staff in line with the current global and regional immunisation policies and strategies, within the context of health system strengthening.
- To update and strengthen managerial knowledge and skills of all participants, notably those related to problem solving, decision making/leadership exercise, effective communication, strategic or operational planning, immunization programme costing, budgeting and resource mobilization, cold chain and vaccine management, immunization safety management, human and financial resources management, new vaccine introduction management, conducting quality supplemental immunization activities, integrated disease surveillance management, EPI monitoring and data management, supervision, EPI coverage survey and evaluation.
NESI contributed to the following modules: Cold Chain management, Disease Surveillance, Immunization Safety, New Vaccine Introduction and Vaccine Management. Thanks to the presence of many countries, lively discussions were held and a lot of experiences exchanged.
In general, the modules were evaluated well by the participants: the satisfactory threshold of 70% was reached for most modules.