Education & Training: In-service training 2017

Vaccinology Courses

13th Annual African Vaccinology Course

Cape Town, South Africa 13 November, 2017 to 17 November, 2017

The 13th Annual African Vaccinology Course was organised by the Vaccines for Africa Initiative (VACFA), University of Cape Town, from 13 to 17 November 2017 in Cape Town, South Africa.

The objectives of the course included:

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

The course was attended by 75 participants from 26 African countries. Participants included national EPI managers, healthcare workers and basic scientists involved in vaccination programmes and/or vaccinology research in the African Region.

The course was facilitated by 32 faculty members (national and international) 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: "Vaccination schedules: past, present and future" and "Global vaccination initiatives and their collaboration with national immunisation programmes".

TropEd Advanced Vaccinology Course

Berlin, Germany 9 January, 2017 to 20 January, 2017

The TropEd Advanced Vaccinology Course was organised by the Institute of Tropical Medicine and International Health (ITMIH), Berlin, and NESI/UAntwerp, from 9 to 20 January 2017 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.

Twenty students from the following countries attended the course: Cameroon, Colombia, Ecuador, Germany, Indonesia, Italy, Lebanon, Luxembourg, Pakistan, Portugal, Switzerland, Syria, Uganda, and Zimbabwe. 

Teaching methods included seminar-style and interactive lectures, and group work on specific target diseases. 

Student evaluation was based on presentation of the group work, a written exam and a written essay on a topic of choice relevant to vaccines and immunisation. The essays were evaluated by the course organisers (ITMIH and NESI).

Erasmus+ Mundus Joint Master Degree "Leading International Vaccinology Education"

Lyon, France 25 September, 2017

The new Erasmus Mundus Joint Master's Degree entitled "Leading International Vaccinology Education" (LIVE) was launched September 2016. LIVE is a two years Master's programme between five European universities: Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1, France (coordinating university); Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona, Spain; Universitat de Barcelona, Spain; University of Antwerp, Belgium; Université Jean Monnet Saint-Etienne, France. The programme is supported by a worldwide network of 31 international associated partners and 16 supporting partners. NESI is supporting partner to the LIVE programme.

A total of 23 students are enrolled in the first LIVE programme.

NESI was invited to give a lecture on 25 September 2017 at the Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1, during the third semester of the LIVE programme in the session on "Communication on vaccines and public health". The lecture focused on history of vaccination schedules; role of the NITAGs; and GVAP goals.


WHO/AFRO Regional capacity building workshop on the EPI/IMCI Interactive training and resource tool

Kigali, Rwanda 29 May, 2017 to 2 June, 2017

The World Health Organization Regional Office for Africa (WHO/AFRO) and the Rwandan Ministry of Health hosted the Regional capacity building workshop on the Expanded Programme on Immunization/Integrated Management of Childhood Illness (EPI/IMCI) Interactive training and resource tool from 29 May – 2 June 2017 in Kigali, Rwanda. The tool was developed in collaboration between WHO/AFRO, NESI, and ITEM Interactive.

A total of 52 participants, including 36 Ministry of Health officials, WHO country representatives, and medical and nursing school staff from 6 countries – Ethiopia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Sao Tome & Principe, and Sierra Leone – were in attendance at the workshop, along with 16 facilitators from NESI, WHO Headquarters, WHO/AFRO, all three WHO/AFRO Inter-Country Support Teams (IST-ESA, IST-CA and IST-WA),  WHO Zambia, WHO Congo, and the USAID Maternal & Child Survival Program (MCSP). Participants reviewed the current status of EPI and IMCI programming in the African region, conducted group work on integration of EPI and IMCI activities, and completed the EPI/IMCI training in order to understand its layout and potential uses in their home countries.

The Rwandan Ministry of Health also organized field visits to three health clinics in the neighborhoods of Kabuga, Gikondo, and Kicukiro. Workshop participants observed clinic staff providing immunisations and performing the “assess, classify, and treat” steps of the IMCI guidelines. They also reviewed clinic records, cold chain capacity, and other primary care services offered at each clinic.

The workshop was a training-of-trainers (TOT), and all workshop participants successfully earned certificates of completion. They have returned back to their countries not only as “master trainers,” but also advocates to promote adoption of the tool into their national training programmes. The primary target audience for the tool includes frontline healthcare workers, as well as pre-service trainees in medical and nursing schools. It is a comprehensive training package including: video chapters with narrations in three languages (English, French and Portuguese); question and answer sessions before and after each chapter to reinforce key messages; references; glossary; transcript of the video chapters; and a certificate after completion of the programme. The interactive resource is supplemented by a pocket guide as well as a copy of the Integrated Management of Childhood Illness Computerized Adaptation and Training Tool (ICATT), which is an additional tool for comprehensive training in IMCI.

The tool was pre-tested in three countries – Congo Brazzaville, Sao Tome & Principe and Zambia – before finalization. Workshop participants are now making plans to introduce the tool into their training programmes. 



Experience Exchange Meeting

The role of the NITAGs in strengthening routine immunisation and new vaccine introduction: Varicella vaccine as a case study

Amman, Jordan 3 May, 2017 to 4 May, 2017

On 3-4 May 2017, the Workshop on "The role of the NITAGs in strengthening routine immunisation and new vaccine introduction: Varicella vaccine as a case study” was organised in Amman, Jordan, by the University of Jordan, the Eastern Mediterranean Public Health Network (EMPHNET), and NESI/University of Antwerp. Additional scientific support was received from the Ministry of Oman.

The workshop explored the current status and best practices of varicella vaccine introduction in Middle Eastern countries, gaps in information about varicella virus disease burden in the Middle East, and the role of NITAGs to strengthen routine immunisation and new and under-utilised vaccine introduction.

The objectives of the workshop included:

(a) To capacitate NITAGs in the Arab countries to make evidence-based recommendations and decisions on the introduction of new vaccines, using varicella vaccination as an example;

(b) To increase knowledge on vaccine-preventable diseases, focusing on varicella and especially on the dynamics of the disease in the Arab Region;

(c) Raise the awareness about varicella disease burden in certain risk groups such as pregnant women, the new-borns, patients who suffer from immune-deficiency and/or malignancy and the health care workers;

(d) Increase the knowledge on the high communicability and infection control aspects in healthcare facilities;

(e) To create awareness regarding varicella vaccination in the Arab region in order to reduce morbidity and mortality especially among the identified at risk groups;

(f) To develop an effective communication strategy with the public.

The workshop was attended by a total of 41 delegates, including participants and facilitators. Representatives of the Ministry of Health and NITAG chairs/members of nine countries of the Eastern Mediterranean Region participated in the workshop: Jordan, Morocco, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tunisia and UAE. Facilitators came from the following organisations: Damascus University (Syria), EMPHNET (Jordan), University of Jordan, Ministry of Health Oman, Robert Koch Institute (Germany), UNICEF (Jordan), University Cadi Ayyad (Morocco) and NESI/University of Antwerp (Belgium). Other delegates were from Gavi (Switzerland), University of Padjadjaran (Indonesia), Cheikh Anta Diop University (Senegal) and the vaccine industry.

The workshop brought together a unique mix of countries with and without experience in varicella vaccine introduction. Delegates from Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and UAE shared experiences and best practices with their respective varicella vaccination programme with the other countries that have not yet introduced the varicella vaccine. During a group session, delegates shared their experience in general with new vaccine introduction and highlighted potential new vaccine introductions in their respective countries. They also discussed the role of the NITAGs in the decision-making process of new vaccine introduction.

The participation of different stakeholders in the workshop, including NITAGs, government officials, international agencies, academia and industry, resulted in high-level exchange of experiences and best practices and in building an international multi-disciplinary network of experts.

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Strengthening Capacity on New Vaccine Introduction in the Middle East: varicella vaccination

Amman, Jordan 27 January, 2017

On 27 January 2017, the launch of a collaborative project "Capacity building activities on vaccines and immunisation to strengthen the national immunisation programmes: strengthening capacity on introduction of new vaccines in the Middle East" between the University of Jordan, NESI/University of Antwerp and the Eastern Mediterranean Public Health Network (EMPHNET) took place in Amman, Jordan. The aim of the project is to strengthen decision-makers and NITAGs in the introduction of new vaccines in the Middle East, using the varicella vaccine as a case study.

The launch, in the format of a stakeholders meeting, was attended by 14 delegates from three countries: Belgium, Jordan and Oman. The delegates were from universities (University of Jordan, NESI/University of Antwerp, Mutah University); Ministries of Health (Jordan and Oman); Jordan Hospital and Specialty Hospital Jordan; national (Jordan Paediatric Association) and international (EMPHNET) agencies.

The aim of the stakeholders meeting was: (1) to build the pool of experts to deliver the training programme and who will be instrumental in building the multi-disciplinary team of experts across the respective countries; and (2) to develop the roadmap for delivering of the training programme.

Following key presentations on the importance of varicella and the current status of varicella vaccination globally and specifically in the Eastern Mediterranean Region, the roadmap was drafted to deliver the training programme later in the year. 

Last updated: 7 February, 2020