Education & Training: In-service training 2016

Experience Exchange Meeting

Strengthening HPV vaccination and adolescent health programmes in Africa

Johannesburg, South Africa 21 November, 2016 to 22 November, 2016

The symposium “Strengthening HPV vaccination and adolescent health programmes in Africa” was organised by SAVIC/SMU, SA-MRC and NESI/University of Antwerp from 21 to 22 November 2016 in Johannesburg, South Africa.

A total of 87 delegates (participants and facilitators) participated in the Symposium, including: Representatives from 16 countries of the Eastern and Southern African Region: Angola (1 academic), Botswana (3 MoH), Ethiopia (2 MoH), Malawi (3 MoH), Mauritius (3 MoH), Mozambique (3 MoH), Namibia (4 MoH), Rwanda (1 WHO), Seychelles (3 MoH), South Africa (2 MoH), South Sudan (3 MoH), Swaziland (3 MoH, 1 WHO), Tanzania (3 MoH), Uganda (3 MoH), Zambia (3 MoH), and Zimbabwe (2 MoH, 1 MoE). Additional delegates were from the pharmaceutical industry.

Facilitators were from: WHO/AFRO, WHO/South Africa, WHO/IARC, Gavi, SA-MRC, Centre for Infectious Disease Research in Zambia and academia (University of the Free State, SMU, University of Cape Town, University of Witwatersrand, Stellenbosch University, NESI/University of Antwerp).

The objectives of the symposium were to:

  1. Discuss recent advances in HPV vaccines and their use.
  2. Discuss adolescent health interventions to be delivered alongside HPV vaccination.
  3. Exchange lessons learnt and best practices regarding HPV vaccination and adolescent health services among participating countries.
  4. Strengthen a multi-disciplinary team of experts to support and advocate for the introduction of HPV vaccination and other adolescent health interventions in the African Region.

Of the 16 countries present, six had introduced the HPV vaccine nationwide. Seychelles and South Africa shared their overall experience, best practices and challenges with the introduction of the HPV vaccine, while Botswana, Rwanda and Uganda focused on monitoring and evaluation of their HPV vaccination programmes. Mauritius gave an update on their recent HPV vaccine introduction. Three countries (Malawi, Mozambique, and Tanzania) gave updates on their respective HPV vaccine demonstration projects. Zimbabwe gave a comprehensive overview focusing on integrating other adolescent health interventions alongside HPV vaccination, while Zambia and Ethiopia shared their experiences and best practices regarding information, education, and communication for building public trust in HPV vaccination. Namibia and Swaziland are planning for HPV vaccine introduction in 2017 and communicated their respective introduction plans.

There was also a lively interaction between the different speakers and the country delegates, and this was especially highlighted during the two round table discussions on (1) “Overcoming hurdles for HPV vaccination introduction and cervical cancer screening,” and (2) “Research opportunities on HPV vaccination and adolescent health.”

The participants completed daily evaluation forms, rating both the scientific part (presentations, round table discussion) of the symposium, as well as the administrative part (organisation, documents, accommodation, etc.). The overall scientific content of the symposium was rated 86%; facilitation 83%; and practical organisation 86%.

Some quotes from the evaluation forms included: “Very good symposium, good and well organized symposium, appreciated the exchange from different countries,” and “Excellent facilitation of well-prepared presentations and great engagements. Countries have put in a lot of efforts, great coordination and management of organisation.” 

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HPV Workshop: "Implementing HPV vaccination in Africa: opportunities for strengthening adolescent health"

Nairobi, Kenya 22 March, 2016 to 24 March, 2016

The workshop was organised by SAVIC/Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University, South African Medical Research Council, NESI/University of Antwerp, University of Nairobi and Kenya Paediatric Association in Nairobi, Kenya from 22-24 March 2016.

As HPV vaccination can be regarded as an entry point for strengthening overall adolescent health services, the purpose of the workshop was to:

(a)    Promote successful and effective introduction of HPV vaccination and other adolescent health interventions in the eastern and southern African region;

(b)   Create a multi-disciplinary resourceful team of experts to support and advocate for the introduction of HPV vaccines and other adolescent health interventions in the eastern and southern African region; and

Increase synergy between academics, educators and Ministries of Health to revive and strengthen school-based health programmes as delivery platforms of adolescent immunisation services in the eastern and southern African region.

A total of 66 delegates (participants and facilitators) participated in the workshop. The nominated country delegates included: representatives of the Ministry of Health of Ethiopia, Kenya, Mauritius, Mozambique, Seychelles, Tanzania and Uganda; representatives of Mekelle and Jimma University (Ethiopia), and Manhiça Health Research Centre (Mozambique). Other participants came from the East Africa Centre for Vaccines and Immunisation (ECAVI), Kenya Paediatric Association, academia (Kenya Medical Training College, Cheikh Anta Diop University, Universitas Padjadjaran, ICAP Columbia University), MoH Oman, and industry.

Facilitators were from: WHO/AFRO, WHO/Kenya, WHO/IARC, Gavi, PATH, SA-MRC, Kenya Medical Research Institute, and academia (Aga Khan University, University of Nairobi, University of the Free State, SAVIC/SMU, NESI/University of Antwerp).     

The first day of the workshop comprised of presentations highlighting key aspects of cervical cancer screening, HPV vaccines, adolescent health interventions, delivery platform for HPV vaccination, and effective communication strategies for building public trust in HPV vaccination.

During the second day of the workshop, each country presented their respective status of HPV vaccine implementation and other adolescent health interventions, grouped in three sessions: (a) countries with a national HPV vaccination programme; (b) countries with a demonstration project; (c) countries planning for HPV vaccine introduction.

During the third day of the workshop country group presentations were made, highlighting for each country the strengths, gaps and challenges based on the feedback received during day two, and how to address these. The last session focused on monitoring and evaluation of HPV vaccination programmes, the importance of a cancer registry and early impact of HPV vaccination.

The workshop was highly appreciated by the participants as shown by the daily evaluations. Providing a forum for the country delegates to share their current status of HPV vaccine introduction, best practices and challenges, resulted in building a multi-disciplinary network of experts.

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Vaccinology Courses

12th Annual African Vaccinology Course

Cape Town, South Africa 7 November, 2016 to 11 November, 2016

The 12th Annual Africa Vaccinology Course was organised by the Vaccines for Africa Initiative (VACFA), University of Cape Town, from 7 to 11 November 2016 in Cape Town, South Africa.

The objectives of the course included:

  1. Provide participants with essential expertise to support national immunisation programmes
  2. Broaden the understanding of the challenges and opportunities in vaccinology at regional and global levels
  3. Build sustainable research capacity for vaccine development and conducting high quality phase I-IV vaccine trials in Africa
  4. Foster communication and networking among African vaccinologists

The course aimed to enhance knowledge on vaccines and immunisation among the national immunisation programme managers, healthcare workers, as well as basic scientists involved in vaccination programmes and/or vaccinology research in the African Region. The course was attended by 50 participants from 23 African countries from the four regions (North, South, East and West).

Four participants were given the opportunity to give a short presentation on their current work and experiences. The four presentations were selected from a list of abstracts submitted by the participants.

A pool of 33 faculty members (national and international) presented at the course and were all experts in the field of vaccinology coming from academia and industry. NESI was invited by VACFA to give lectures on the following topics: Global Vaccine Action Plan (GVAP), and Vaccination Schedules: Past, Present and Future. 

Vaccinology Course for Health Professionals

Kampala, Uganda 25 July, 2016 to 29 July, 2016

The vaccinology course for health professionals was organised by the East Africa Centre for Vaccines and Immunization (ECAVI) from 25 to 29 July 2016 in Kampala, Uganda. 

The aim of the vaccinology course is to equip healthcare professionals with up-to-date knowledge, skills and expertise on vaccines and immunisation in order to enable them to deal with current and emerging challenges related to immunisation programmes. 

The course was delivered through the following methods: formal lectures; case studies; debate and discussion; practical demonstration sessions; and presentations by participants. 

Upon completion of the course, participants were able to: 

  • Understand the concepts and principles of vaccination
  • Describe new vaccines
  • Describe indications, contraindications, efficacy and safety of vaccines according to WHO criteria
  • Identify, manage and report adverse events following immunisation
  • Identify ways to improve communication with the patients, parents and caregivers
  • Identify best practices for implementing and improving immunisation programmes
  • Champion and advocate for update and promotion of immunisation

The course was attended by 45 delegates, the majority of participants were from Uganda, but participants from Kenya, Rwanda and Tanwania also attended the course.

NESI assisted with content development of the course and gave 4 lectures: Overview of vaccine-preventable diseases and their epidemiology; Basic immunology of vaccines; Hepatitis vaccines; and Yellow fever vaccines. NESI also participated in the Question and Answer session. 

Advanced Course of Vaccinology (ADVAC), Veyrier-du-Lac, France

23 May, 2016 to 3 June, 2016

The 17th Aevanced Course of Vaccinology (ADVAC) was organised by Fondation Mérieux and the University of Geneva at Veyrier-du-Lac, Franc, from 23 May to 3 June 2016. The ADVAC course is a two-week training programme for decision-makers, academia, industry, governmental and non-governmental agencies, in all fields related to vaccines and immunisation, including vaccine trials, new vaccines, vaccination strategies and policies, vaccine-specific issues, ethical issues related to vaccine trials, financing of immunisation and communication.

The 17th ADVAC course was attended by 70 participants from 38 countries, from both developing and industrialised countries.

The course was facilitated by over 60 international lecturers and working group supervisors, all experts in vaccinology. NESI was invited to co-facilitate the working group on "National decision making for immunisation programmes."

"TropEd" Advanced Vaccinology Course

Berlin, Germany 11 January, 2016 to 22 January, 2016

The TropEd Advanced Vaccinology Course was organised by the Institute of Tropical Medicine and International Health (ITMIH), Berlin, and NESI/UAntwerp, from 11 to 22 January 2016 in Berlin, Germany. The course is an accredited module (3.5 ECTS credit points) of the TropEd Masters Programme in International Health. TropEd is a network of institutions for higher education in International Health, including European and non-European institutions. The accreditation for the two-weeks course was obtained in October 2013 and is valid until October 2018.

Thirteen participants from both industrialised (5) and developing countries (8) attended the course.

Lecturers came from the South African Medical Research Council and the University of Cape Town (South Africa), Gavi (Switzerland), Ministry of Health of Ghana, Robert Koch Institute (Germany), Institute of Tropical Medicine and International Health (Germany), Freie Universität Berlin (Germany), London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (UK), WHO/HQ (Switzerland), GlaxoSmithKline (Belgium and Germany), NESI/UAntwerp (Belgium) and UNICEF.

Teaching methods included seminar-style and interactive lectures, exercises and group work on specific target diseases. Student evaluation was based on presentation of the group work, a written exam and an essay on a topic of choice related to vaccines and immunisation.

MLM Courses

Inter-country EPI Mid-Level Management course for Anglophone countries in the African Region

Pretoria, South Africa 10 October, 2016 to 21 October, 2016

The Inter-country Anglophone Mid-Level Management course was held in Pretoria, South Africa, between 10 and 21 October 2016. The course was organised by WHO/AFRO, with support from the South African Department of Health, UNICEF and NESI.

The MLM course was attended by 34 participants from 15 Anglophone African countries. Participants included EPI managers from national, provincial and district level, as well as EPI focal points from WHO and UNICEF. The course was facilitated by experts from WHO, UNICEF, JSI/MCSP and NESI.

Training methods included: short introductory presentations; discussions in group and in plenary; case studies; practical exercises; role play; and summary presentations. Training modules used were the recently revised WHO/AFRO MLM modules: Problem solving approach; Role of EPI managers; Communication; EPI planning; Increasing immunisation coverage; Costing and financing immunisation; Cold chain management; Vaccine management; Immunisation safety; New and under-utilised vaccine introduction; Organising effective and quality national immunisation days and supplementary immunisation activities; Vaccine-preventable disease surveillance; Monitoring for action; Supportive supervision; EPI services assessment and EPI survey.

At the end of the course all participants were trained on the key topics of the MLM course, a common understanding was achieved on EPI systems and the role of EPI managers, EPI managers skills were strengthened, and experiences were shared among participants and facilitators.

NESI co-facilitated the modules on Problem Solving Approach and on Immunisation Safety. In addition, NESI co-facilitated the daily group work. 

Last updated: 11 October, 2017