Education & Training: Archives

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2012

Strengthening teaching and learning of current immunisation practices within pre-service curricula of health professionals in South Africa

Johannesburg-South Africa 28 November, 2012 to 29 November, 2012

The national workshop on "Strengthening teaching and learning of current immunisation practices within pre-service curricula of health professionals in South Africa" was organised by the South African Vaccination and Immunisation Centre (SAVIC)/University of Limpopo and NESI/University of Antwerp, and was hosted in collaboration with the South African National Department of Health and WHO/AFRO, on 28-29 November 2012 in Johannesburg, South Africa.

This workshop was a follow-up of a meeting entitled "SAVIC Nursing Immunisation Curriculum Review and Update Workshop", which was held at the Vanderbijl Park, Gauteng Province, in April 2007.

In 2011, South Africa was one of the nine countries that participated in the evaluation conducted by WHO/AFRO and NESI to assess the status of the introduction of immunisation curriculum in training institutions of the African Region and its impact on the quality of training of medical and nursing school students. The results of this evaluation were shared and discussed during this workshop.

The strategic objective of the workshop was to strengthen the teaching and learning of current immunisation practices within the existing curriculum for basic (pre-service) education programmes for doctors, nurses/midwives and other health professionals. Specifically, the workshop aimed to facilitate country-wide implementation of WHO EPI prototype curricula into pre-service training institutions in South Africa.

The meeting was attended by over 60 participants from the following organisations/institutions:

  • WHO/AFRO, Representative from the Flemish Government, Representative from Ghana Ministry of Health, South African National Department of Health, Provincial Department of Health from Gauteng;
  • University of Limpopo (Medunsa and Turfloop Campuses), NESI/University of Antwerp;
  • Other South African universities: Pretoria, University of South Africa, Cape Town (UCT), Tshwane University of Technology, Free State, Stellenbosch, North West, Cape Peninsula University of Technology, Western Cape, Witwatersrand, Fort Hare, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University;
  • Nursing Colleges: Limpopo Nursing College, Western Cape College of Nursing, Kwa-Zulu Natal College of Nursing - RK Khan Campus and Nginelezana Campus, Mpumalanga College of Nursing, SG Lourens Nursing College and Ann Latsky Nursing Colleges in Gauteng, South African Military Health Services Nursing College;
  • South African National Defense Force, South African Military Health Services;
  • GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer, Sanofi Pasteur. 

Development of Vaccinology Modules

Johannesburg, South Africa 26 November, 2012 to 27 November, 2012

Standard training materials for vaccinology courses are currently being developed. These training materials will facilitate the learning process during vaccinology courses. In addition it will enable participants of these courses to use the modules in their lectures at health training institutions or to organise national in-service vaccinology courses.

In November 2012, a workshop was organised on the finalisation of the Vaccinology Training Materials and Handouts, in Johannesburg, South Africa. The workshop was organised by NESI/UA and SAVIC, in collaboration with WHO/AFRO. The workshop was a follow-up of the 2009 and 2010 workshops, which were organised to develop generic training materials and handouts for the vaccinology courses. The workshop was attended by 10 participants from WHO/AFRO, Ghana Ministry of Health and academia; University of Limpopo (Medunsa/SAVIC), University of Antwerp (NESI) and Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, School of Medical Sciences, Ghana.

The reference format of the modules was revised, and it was decided at the workshop that the focus of the modules will be on PowerPoint presentations with explanatory notes. 

Introduction of New Vaccines

Nairobi, Kenya 22 November, 2012 to 23 November, 2012

NESI co-organises with its local partners interactive workshops, with the purpose to create a forum for discussion and exchange of experiences related to immunisation practices and new initiatives. It is the aim to bring together EPI managers and other stakeholders from different countries to share their respective experiences. 

The Experience Exchange Meeting on Introduction of New Vaccines was organised by the Kenya Paediatric Association (KPA) and the Division of Vaccines and Immunisation of the Ministry of Public Health and Sanitation, in collaboration with NESI/UA, on 22-23 November 2012 in Nairobi, Kenya.

The meeting was convened at a time when countries augment their strategies to reach the Millennium Development Goals (MDG). Introduction and widespread use of new or improved vaccines (such as rotavirus and pneumococcal conjugate vaccines) can contribute greatly to achieving MDG 4 of reducing global childhood mortality by two-thirds by 2015. However, as more new vaccines become available, countries face several challenges in introducing these vaccines in the existing immunisation programme. These include decision-making and prioritisation of which vaccines to be introduced, addressing strengths and weaknesses in the immunisation programme, managing more complicated vaccination schedules, developing multi-year plans to ensure sustainable use of the new vaccines, and integrating vaccines in the broader context of health systems.

New vaccines continue to roll out in Eastern Africa: PCV in Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia and Sudan; rotavirus vaccines in Sudan; HPV vaccine in Uganda. These new vaccines come with some unique challenges. Therefore, an Experience Exchange Meeting was organised to share experiences between these countries and others in the region. Lessons learned, best practices of new vaccine introduction and integrated management of immunisation services were shared between the countries.

The specific objectives of the meeting included: (1) update participants on GIVS and mortality reduction goals in the framework of the MDGs; (2) discuss recent advances in new vaccines and their use; (3) exchange lessons learned and best practices regarding new vaccine introduction; (4) discuss cold chain and logistics for preparation of new vaccines introduction; and (5) discuss integrated management of immunisation services.

The meeting was attended by 55 participants from the following countries: Belgium (3), Ethiopia (1), Kenya (38), Nigeria (2), Rwanda (3), Sudan (1), Tanzania (2), Uganda (4) and Zambia (1). Participants included EPI managers and staff, members of Paediatric Associations, academics, NGOs and industry.

The meeting was of great value to the participants and the lessons learnt will benefit more African countries as they embark on introducing new vaccines to ensure that every child is protected from vaccine preventable diseases.

8th Annual African Vaccinology Course

Cape Town-South Africa 5 November, 2012 to 7 November, 2012

NESI has been active in building capacity in immunisation for the Southern African sub-region since 2005 through annual vaccinology courses with the University of Cape Town (UCT), South Africa, as local organiser. The 8th African vaccinology course was organised in Cape Town, South Africa, from 5 to 7 November 2012, and was hosted by the Vaccine for Africa Initiative (VACFA), based at UCT's Institute for Infectious Diseases and Molecular Medicine.

The main objective of the course was to build sustainable research capacity to develop vaccines and/or conduct quality standard phase 1 to phase 4 vaccine clinical trials. The course also aimed to provide participants with the necessary expertise to support public vaccination programmes.

The course was attended by 45 participants with the following profile: EPI managers and staff, medical doctors, nurses, public health specialists, academics and scientists working in the field of vaccinology.

NESI gave lectures on the following topics: Vaccination schedules; Hepatitis vaccines; GIVS and the Decade of Vaccines. NESI was also part of the "meet the experts" session, a session that allowed for questions and discussions. 

EPI Mid-level Management (MLM) inter-country course for francophone countries

Abidjan, Ivory Coast 20 August, 2012 to 1 September, 2012

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. 

12th International Advanced Course on Vaccinology in Asia-Pacific Region

Seoul-South Korea 14 May, 2012 to 19 May, 2012

The 12th International Advanced Course on Vaccinology in the Asia-Pacific Region, organised by the International Vaccine Institute (IVI), was held from 14 to 19 May 2012, in Seoul, South-Korea.

The course aimed to strengthen the capacity of countries in vaccinology by providing participants with a comprehensive overview of the vaccine continuum, from vaccine development, evaluation and regulatory principles, to production, post-licensure, introduction and policy issues.

This course is for scientists and decision-makers involved in vaccine development, in the elaboration of new vaccination strategies or in policy decisions related to the introduction of new vaccines in public health programmes, at national or international levels. It is relevant for both the public and private sectors.

A total of 93 participants from 25 countries attended the course: Burkina Faso, China, Denmark, Ethiopia, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Ghana, Kazakhstan, Korea, Kyrgyzstan, Madagascar, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Senegal, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Taiwan, Thailand, The Gambia, Turkey, and Vietnam. The participants were a diverse mix, consisting of scientists, public health officials and policy makers from private and public sectors.

NESI was invited by IVI to give a lecture on "Vaccination schedules: history and rationale". 

Adaptation of training DVD in French for Introduction of Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine

Madagascar 1 May, 2012 to 30 June, 2012

The Ministry of Health of Madagascar planned to introduce pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV10) in the national routine immunisation programme. Due to time and financial constraints, it was decided not to develop a new PCV10 training DVD, but to translate the existing Kenyan DVD in French. The script developed for Kenya was translated into French. The voice-over was recorded in Madagascar by a local filming company. Adaptation of the visual text and quiz was done by the Audio-visual Department of the University of Antwerp, Belgium. 

Development of training DVD for Rotavirus Vaccine

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia 23 April, 2012 to 30 April, 2012

Introducing a new vaccine always implicates new information and handlings. Many healthcare workers have to be trained when a country decides to introduce a new vaccine in the routine immunisation programme.

Ethiopia introduced pneumococcal vaccine in 2011. At that time a training DVD was developed as part of the training materials. A DVD can visualize many concepts in addition to classroom training and help to spread undiluted standardized messages. The pneumococcal training DVD was well received by trainers and healthcare workers. The country is currently preparing for rotavirus introduction. Consequently, Ethiopia decided likewise to produce a DVD to assist in the training on rotavirus vaccine. This vaccine will protect against severe diarrhoea caused by rotavirus which causes 28000 deaths a year in Ethiopia.

Filming and editing is done again by the Ethiopian production company Halleta, with support of WHO, NESI and the Federal Ministry of Health. The DVD will be in Amharic, the main local language and will include five chapters:
(1) Rotavirus disease;
(2) Vaccine characteristics, storage and vaccination schedule;
(3) Vaccine safety and adverse events following immunization;
(4) Vaccine administration and recording; and
(5) Communication (role play).
 
Filming took place from 23 until 30 April 2012 on the following locations in Addis Ababa: WHO Ethiopia Office; Addis Ababa University - College of Health Sciences; Black Lion Hospital; Bole Health centre; and Addis Salem Health centre. 

Seminar on The introduction of new vaccines into national immunisation programmes

Marrakech, Morocco 27 March, 2012 to 28 March, 2012

Séminaire de mise à jour sur l'introduction de nouveaux vaccins dans les programmes nationaux de vaccination

The seminar was jointly organised by the Faculty of Medicine, Cadi Ayyad University of Marrakech, and the Network for Education and Support in Immunisation (NESI), in Marrakech, Morocco, from 27 to 28 March 2012.

The seminar was intended for Francophone countries from Northern Africa/Middle East: Algeria, Lebanon, Mauretania, Morocco, Tunisia. Vaccine preventable diseases are still a major concern in these countries and the introduction and widespread use of new and under-utilized vaccines can contribute significantly to achieving MDG 4 of reducing the under-five mortality by two-thirds by 2015, compared to 1990.

The objectives of the seminar included: (1) to provide participants with the latest updates on routine immunisation, under-utilised and new vaccines; (2) to emphasise the importance of capacity building activities in the area of vaccines and immunisation; (3) to discuss the essential factors in the decision making process for new vaccine introduction; (4) to discuss the financial challenges and programmatic aspects of new vaccine introduction; and (5) to discuss the challenges for the management of vaccination programmes, in particular the adaptation of vaccination schedules/calendars.

A total of 44 participants with following profile attended the meeting: EPI managers and other EPI staff, academics, paediatricians, clinicians and NITAG members.

Speakers included national and international vaccinology experts from universities, Ministries of Health, WHO and NESI.

The seminar was well appreciated by the participants [evaluation scores: excellent (58%); very good (36%); good (6%); mediocre (0%); unsatisfactory (0%)] and created lively discussions and exchange of experience among experts of the different countries present. A request was made to organise such a seminar on new vaccine introduction on an annual basis. 

4th Regional Vaccinology Course for Anglophone Countries

Nairobi, Kenya 19 March, 2012 to 24 March, 2012

The 4th Regional Vaccinology Course for Anglophone countries was organized by WHO/AFRO, in collaboration with the Ministry of Public Health and Sanitation (MoPHS) of Kenya, UNICEF, USAID and NESI, from 19 to 24 March 2012 in Nairobi, Kenya.

The course was attended by 27 participants from 13 countries: Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Malawi, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe; and included EPI managers and other EPI staff, academics, WHO/UNICEF focal points and NGOs.

Speakers included national and international vaccinology experts from universities (Ghana, Senegal, South Africa), Ministries of Health, WHO, UNICEF and NESI/UA. Teaching methods included seminar-style and interactive lectures, and group work on specific target diseases.

NESI staff lectured on the following topics: Hepatitis B vaccines; Haemophilus influenzae type b vaccines; HPV vaccines; Adolescent vaccination; Basic epidemiological concepts; Ethical considerations in vaccine clinical trials; Cost-effectiveness of vaccines; Managing new vaccine introduction.
NESI also co-facilitated the group work and chaired several sessions. 

TropEd Advanced Vaccinology Course

Berlin, Germany 9 January, 2012 to 13 January, 2012

The TropEd Advanced Vaccinology Course was organised by the Institute of Tropical Medicine and International Health, Berlin, and NESI/UA, from 9 to 13 January 2012 in Berlin, Germany. The course is an accredited module (2 ECTS credit points) in 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.

Sixteen students from both industrialised and developing countries attended the course.

Lecturers came from the Universities of Cape Town and Limpopo (South Africa), GAVI Alliance (Switzerland), Ministry of Health of Ghana, Robert Koch Institute (Berlin, Germany), Institute of Tropical Medicine and International Health (Berlin, Germany), Novartis (USA), GlaxoSmithKline (Belgium) and NESI/UA (Belgium).

Teaching methods included seminar-style and interactive lectures, and group work on specific target diseases. Students had to write a 5-page assignment on a self-defined topic relevant to vaccines and immunisation, which was evaluated by the course organisers. 

2011

Regional EPI Mid-Level Management (MLM) Course for Anglophone countries

Nairobi, Kenya 3 October, 2011 to 12 October, 2011

The MLM course for Anglophone countries was organised by WHO AFRO in collaboration/partnership with the Ministry of Health of Kenya, UNICEF, USAID, AMP and NESI. A total of 62 participants and facilitators attended the course. The participants were from health training institutions and public health EPI programmes out of the following countries: Ethiopia, Eritrea, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Malawi, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Uganda and Zimbabwe.

The objectives of the 2011 EPI MLM course were

(1) To get participants aware of their new roles and responsibilities as EPI managers in line with the current global and regional immunisation policies and strategies within the context of health system strengthening;

(2) To update and strengthen managerial knowledge and skills of all participants, notable 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.

The modules, updated or developed during the workshop to revise the AFR EPI MLM modules in Accra (13-17 June 2011) were tested during this course.

The following pedagogical methods /techniques were used: individual pre-reading, short presentations using active media, plenary and group discussions, case studies, application and practical exercises, role playing, simulations and project methods.

NESI contributed to the following modules:

(1) Cold chain management

(2) Disease surveillance

(3) Immunization safety

(4) New vaccine introduction

(5) Vaccine management 

Evaluation of training DVD on Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine

Kenya 1 September, 2011 to 31 October, 2011

The DVD was shown during face-to-face training which was conducted at all levels (national, provincial, district and health facility level) in December 2010 and January 2011. The trainers/facilitators were available during the training sessions to respond to any questions that the trainees raised regarding the content of the DVD.

It was the first time that a DVD was used during the training programme on new vaccine introduction inKenya. Therefore, it was important to receive feedback on the use and usefulness of the DVD, from both the facilitators and the trainees, and whether the content of the DVD was appropriate, well packaged, and relevant in order to make recommendations on areas for improvement.

The evaluation included both quantitative (structured questionnaire) and qualitative (key informant interviews and focus group discussions) methods. The target group for the evaluation were healthcare workers who had previously attended training on the introduction of PCV10 vaccine including the training DVD. Key informant interviews were held with the Director of Public Health and with health management teams at different levels of healthcare (national, provincial and district levels). The evaluation was conducted in 8 counties across Kenya. 

Participants suggested to distribute the DVD to every health facility, so that every healthcare worker can benefit of the training. This, however, requires that reliable power supply and a functional DVD player and TV are available in all health facilities. Participants also recommended to use both English and Kiswahili in the narrations.

In conclusion, the healthcare workers found the DVD very useful and recommended that the DVD be used as part of the face-to-face training.

National Mid-Level Management Training Course

Mombasa, Kenya 11 August, 2011 to 20 August, 2011

The Ministry of Public Health and Sanitation through the Division of Vaccines and Immunisation, in collaboration with WHO, Moi University and other partners organised a national Mid-Level Management training course from 11 to 20 August 2011, in Mombasa, Kenya. NESI gave technical assistance and supported the in-country MLM training, in the framework of national capacity building on immunisation.

The MLM training course targeted the District Health Managers from Central and Nairobi Provinces to update their knowledge and skills as part of capacity strengthening for optimal vaccination service delivery. A total of 66 participants attended the course, including 46 District Health Managers.

The facilitators were drawn from WHO, Moi University, Indiana University, Wisconsin University, Ministry of Public Health and Sanitation, and Kenya medical training colleges.

Organising national MLM courses are important as the regional/inter-country MLM courses can only accommodate a limited number of participants per country. Therefore, to create national capacity in efficient management of immunisation services, it is important to organise national MLM courses. 

Workshop to revise the African EPI Mid-Level management (AFR EPI MLM) Modules and Handouts

Accra, Ghana 13 June, 2011 to 17 June, 2011

In 2004, 14 AFR MLM modules were developed. These standardised training materials have facilitated the learning process during various inter-country and in-country MLM courses conducted as from May 2004 to March 2011. In addition, these AFR MLM modules have been regularly used by health professors/teachers in their lectures at health professional training institutions. As new policies and technologies become available, there is need for updating these modules in order to incorporate some policy and strategic orientations (GIVS, Revised RED guidelines, etc.) as well as new technologies and scientific content that have come in after the 2004 edition.
The general objective of this workshop was to update the AFR EPI MLM modules and more specific to discuss the processes of validation, testing and distribution of the revised AFR EPI MLM modules. NESI contributed to the modules about New Vaccine Introduction, Cold Chain Management and Vaccine Management.

A total of 26 participants attended the workshop. Participants included technical and communication officers from WHO/AFRO (2), WHO/IST (4), WHO/HQ (1), WHO/Ghana (1), WHO/Nigeria (1), WHO/Ethiopia (1), UNICEF HQ (1), UNICEF/ESARO (1), UNICEF/WCARO (3), UNICEF/Nigeria (2), UNICEF/Gambia (1), UNICEF/Ghana (1), NESI (2), AMP (3), USAID/MCHIP (1) and CDC (1). 

Development of training DVD for Introduction of Pneumococcal Vaccine

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia 16 May, 2011 to 25 May, 2011

The Federal Ministry of Health of Ethiopia in collaboration with partners plans to introduce pneumococcal vaccine in the Ethiopia routine immunization program in 2011. New vaccine introduction demands intensive and high quality training for health workers at different levels of profession and health facilities to avoid any mishandling of the vaccine that could potentially lead to adverse events following immunization.
In order to achieve high quality training, the national coordination committee for new vaccine introduction welcomed the idea to use a DVD as part of the training materials to enhance the quality of training activities planned. The DVD will cover all aspects necessary for the introduction in order to increase the knowledge and skills of health workers in handling and administration of the vaccine, as well as communication to caretakers, within the local context of Ethiopia.
To facilitate production of the DVD, a local DVD producer/editing agency (Halleta) was identified with a good previous record of high quality filming, editing and production to undertake the task. Technical Support was provided by the National Communications Working Group for PCV introduction and the Network for Education and Support for Immunisation (NESI)/University of Antwerp.
Filming took place from 16 to 25 May 2011 in Addis Ababa, at the following locations: WHO Ethiopia Office; Federal Ministry of Health; Addis Ababa University - College of Health Sciences; Black Lion Hospital; Pharmaceutical Fund and Supply Agency (PFSA); and Lideta Health Center.
The DVD will be produced in the main local language, Amharic, and will include five chapters: (1) Pneumococcal disease; (2) Pneumococcal vaccine; (3) Storage and handling; (4) Immunization session; and (5) Communication (role play). 

Watch the DVD.

 

Evaluation of Pre-Service Training in the African Region

African Region 1 May, 2011 to 15 December, 2011

Training needs assessments conducted in various countries of the WHO African Region during the last decade pointed out several challenges in pre- and in-service training of immunisation theory and practice by medical and nursing schools. Some of these challenges presented below required concerted action by the school and national immunisation services to deal with deficiencies in immunisation teaching:

  • Harmony between pre-service and in-service training was lacking;
  • EPI content was either not outlined in the curricula or it was incomplete or outdated;
  • Reference materials and demonstration equipment were lacking;
  • Time allocation to EPI theory was inadequate and the practical sessions were not adequately supervised;
  • Some lecturers and tutors lacked modern EPI training.

This situation prompted a systematic revision of EPI curriculum for both medical and nursing/midwifery schools. To facilitate this exercise, two EPI prototype curricula for medical and nursing/midwifery schools were developed in English and French. The curricula were distributed to all training schools and WHO Offices in the African Region. Many health professional schools have revised their curricula making efforts to incorporate EPI into their teaching agendas.

The rapid development of innovations and new technologies in immunisation programmes requires that, graduated students as tomorrows' staffs, are updated regularly if they have to cope with strategic changes and technical advancements.

To measure the level of introduction, WHO/AFRO and NESI planned to undertake an evaluation to assess the status of the introduction of immunisation curriculum in the training institutions of the African Region and its impact on the quality of training of medical and nursing school students.

Objectives

To strengthen the teaching and learning of current immunisation practices within the existing curriculum for basic (pre-service) education programmes for doctors, nurses/midwives and other health professionals.

Specific Objectives

  • To determine the extent of revision of the immunisation course based on new developments in the programme;
  • To assess the technical knowledge and skills of teachers/tutors responsible for teaching EPI topics;
  • Ensuring whether:

- active methods and techniques are used for teaching/learning

- appropriate time is allocated to the course topics

- a sound balance exists between theoretical and practical sessions

- appropriate training materials in sufficient quantities are available in educational institutions

- appropriate supplies and demonstration equipment are available in educational institutions

- adequate learning and programme evaluation is conducted. 

Methodology

  • Country visit by external evaluators for data collection and analysis;
  • Review of curricula of pre-service training institutions;
  • Interviews with:

-        EPI teaching coordinators/teachers

-        Field attachment and practical site tutors

-        Deans/principals of the training institutions

-        EPI managers

-        Partners supporting pre-service training in the country

  • Focus group discussions with teachers and students;
  • Review of training materials used for in-country MLM training courses.

Country visits were conducted in Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, Niger, South Africa, Uganda and  Zimbabwe in 2011.

TropEd Advanced Vaccinology Course

Berlin, Germany 10 January, 2011 to 14 January, 2011

The TropEd Advanced Vaccinology Course was organised by the Institute of Tropical Medicine and International Health of Berlin, Germany, and the Network for Education and Support in Immunisation/University of Antwerp, Belgium, from 10 to 14 January 2011 in Berlin, Germany.
The course is an accredited module (2 ECTS credit points) in the TropEd Masters Programme in International Health. TropEd is a network of institutions for higher education in International Health (including 33 European institutions and 7 non-European institutions).
Lecturers came from the International Vaccine Institute (Seoul, South Korea), the University of Cape Town, Pretoria and Limpopo (South Africa), the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation, Ministry of Health of Ghana, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (United Kingdom), Terumo (Belgium), Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology (Berlin, Germany), Robert Koch Institute (Berlin, Germany), Institute of Tropical Medicine and International Health (Berlin, Germany) and NESI/University of Antwerp (Belgium).
Teaching methods include seminar-style and interactive lectures and group work on specific diseases. Students had to write a 5-page assignment on a self-defined topic relevant to vaccines and immunisation, which was evaluated by the course organisers.
Twenty three students from 19 different countries attended the course: Nigeria (1), Pakistan (1), Indonesia (4), The Netherlands (1), Burkina Faso (1), Rwanda (1), Russia (1), Uganda (1), Germany (1), Argentina (1), Myanmar (1), Spain (1), Bosnia-Herzegovina (1), Thailand (1), Ghana (1), India (1), Mexico (2), Austria (1), United Kingdom (1).
NESI staff gave lectures on the following topics: Global Immunization Vision and Strategy (GIVS); Immunization and Millennium Development Goals (MDG's); The decision-making process for new vaccine introduction; HPV vaccines; Adolescent vaccination; Cold Chain; WHO prequalification. 

2010

Development of training DVD for Introduction of Pneumococcal Vaccine

Nairobi-Kenya 31 December, 2010

Kenya is the first African country to introduce the new pneumococcal vaccine, PCV10, into their national immunisation programme. The recommended schedule to administer the vaccine is at 6, 10 and 14 weeks, at the same time as the pentavalent vaccine (DTP-HepB/Hib). This pneumococcal vaccine is presented in a liquid form in a two-dose vial without preservative. This implies that an opened vial must be discarded at the end of each immunisation session or after 6 hours from first opening, whichever comes first. An opened vial of PCV10 cannot be stored in the refrigerator for use in subsequent immunisation sessions. This is not in line with the WHO policy on the use of opened multi-dose vials of vaccine in subsequent immunisation sessions. Therefore, specific training on the use and storage of this new two-dose pneumococcal vaccine was felt needed.

As part of the training materials for the introduction of this new pneumococcal vaccine, a training DVD was developed intended for health care workers. A training DVD will ensure that the same training messages are received by all, minimizing the risk of the messages being diluted. The DVD will be a tool to deliver and reinforce standard training messages related to new vaccines’ delivery. It will provide a medium to deliver standard training to a large number of people. The target audience for this DVD are the vaccinators, i.e. health care workers giving the vaccines, as well as the immunisation staff at district and national level (i.e. supervisors of the health care workers). The DVD will also be used in pre-service training for nurses.

Watch the DVD.

Southern Africa Vaccinology Course

Cape Town-South Africa 8 November, 2010 to 12 November, 2010

NESI has been active in building capacity in immunisation for the Southern African sub-region since 2005 through annual vaccinology courses with the University of Cape Town (UCT), South Africa, as local organiser. The sixth Southern African vaccinology course was organised in Cape Town, South Africa, from 8 to 12 November 2010, and was hosted by the Vaccine for Africa Initiative (VACFA), based at UCT’s Institute for Infectious Diseases and Molecular Medicine.

The main objective of the course was to build sustainable research capacity to develop vaccines and/or conduct quality standard phase 1 to phase 4 vaccine clinical trials. The course also aimed to provide participants with the necessary expertise to support public vaccination programmes.

Participants ranged from EPI managers, medical doctors, nurses, public health specialists, academics and scientists working in the field of vaccinology.

NESI gave three lectures: Hepatitis A & B vaccines; HPV vaccines; and Immunisation schedules.

Workshop to develop Vaccinology Modules

Pretoria-South Africa 13 September, 2010 to 16 September, 2010

In April 2009, a first workshop was organized to develop generic training materials and handouts for vaccinology courses. During this meeting, a list of 40 vaccinology modules was developed and two key facilitators for each module were identified. In September 2010, a follow up workshop to further develop and harmonise the vaccinology modules was organised in Pretoria, South Africa, by the South African Vaccines and Immunisation Centre (SAVIC)/University of Limpopo and the Network for Education and Support in Immunisation (NESI)/University of Antwerp, in collaboration with WHO/AFRO and the University of Pretoria. The workshop was attended by 14 participants from WHO/AFRO (3); SAVIC/University of Limpopo (4); University of Pretoria (1); University Cheikh Anta Diop in Dakar, Senegal (1); School of Medical Sciences, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana (1); and NESI/University of Antwerp (4).

Specific objectives of the workshop included:

  • Further develop/harmonise the vaccinology modules using the reference format
  • Discussion of process of review and validation of the vaccinology modules
  • Discussion on distribution of the vaccinology modules

At the end of the workshop, a revised/updated list of the modules was developed, as well as stock taking of the status of each module. The list of facilitators and reviewers was updated and a timeline was set for completion of the modules. The overall coordination of the modules will be handled by NESI. Modules should be finalised by mid 2011, followed by a peer technical review meeting.

Francophone Regional Vaccinology Course

Cotonou-Benin 23 August, 2010 to 28 August, 2010

The second regional vaccinology course for francophone countries was organised by WHO/AFRO in collaboration with the Ministry of Health of Benin, UNICEF, USAID and NESI, from 23 to 28 august in Cotonou, Benin.

The course was attended by 52 participants from 18 countries: Benin (3), Burundi (1), Cameroun (3), Comoros (3), Congo (3), Cote d’Ivoire (4), DRC (4), Gabon (2), Guinea (3), Equatorial Guinea (2), Mali (2), Madagascar (3), Mauritania (3), Niger (4), RCA (3),  Senegal (3), Chad (3), and Togo (3). Twenty-seven participants were from the respective Ministries of Health, 13 participants were academics and 12 were WHO/UNICEF focal points and related staff.

Facilitators of the course included: international vaccinology experts (2); WHO (7); University Cheikh Anta Diop, Dakar, Senegal (1); NESI (2). NESI gave lectures on the following topics: Epidemiology; HPV vaccines; Adolescent vaccination; Introduction of new vaccines; Hepatitis B and Hib vaccines; Clinical trials. NESI also co-facilitated the group work and chaired several sessions.

The course was highly appreciated as shown by the daily and summative evaluations. The overall evaluation related to the content of the course was 93%.

Introduction of New Vaccines-Experience Exchange Meeting

Pretoria-South Africa 28 July, 2010 to 30 July, 2010

The Experience Exchange Meeting on the introduction of new vaccines took place in Pretoria, South Africa, from 28 to 30 July 2010, and was organised by SAVIC/University of Limpopo Medunsa Campus in collaboration with the University of Pretoria and the Network for Education and Support in Immunisation (NESI)/University of Antwerpen. This meeting was convened at a time when countries are augmenting their strategies to reach UN Millennium Development Goals. Introduction and widespread use of new or improved vaccines (such as rotavirus and pneumococcal vaccines) can contribute greatly to achieving the UN MDG Target 4 of reducing global childhood mortality by two-thirds by 2015.

The primary objectives included:

  1. An update on GIVS and mortality reduction goals in the framework of the UN MDGs;
  2. Discussing recent advances in new vaccines and their use;
  3. Exchanging lessons learned and best practices regarding new vaccines introduction;
  4. Discussing cold chain and logistics for preparation of new vaccines introduction;
  5. Discussing integrated management of immunization.

The secondary objectives were to

  1. Promote discussion on opportunities and challenges faced by the African continent in introducing new vaccines;
  2. Continue strengthening immunization programs through partnerships between various stakeholders: international health agencies, public, private, academic and NGO’s.

The meeting was attended by 59 participants from eleven countries being health officials from the South African Department of Health, EPI managers from 7 sub-saharan African countries, WHO, vaccination experts and academics from Africa and Europe.

The meeting was of great value to the delegates and the lessons learnt would be useful in the future as more African countries embark of the journey of introducing new vaccines and ensuring that every child in every city and village on the continent is protected from vaccine preventable diseases.The key advocacy message from South Africa is that EPI-SA is committing to reaching every child with quality modern vaccines, ensuring protection from vaccine-preventable diseases.

Advanced Course on Vaccinology in Asia-Pacific Region

Seoul-South Korea 10 May, 2010 to 15 May, 2010

This annual vaccinology course was organised for the 10th time by the International Vaccine Institute (IVI), in collaboration with the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, from 10 to 15 May in Seoul, South Korea. The course is intended for scientists and decision-makers involved in vaccine development, in the implementation of new vaccination strategies or in policy decisions related to the introduction of new vaccines in public health programmes. It is relevant for both the public and private sectors. The course was attended by 82 participants from 22 countries: Bangladesh (1), Korea (16), China (7), India (8), Indonesia (14), Turkey (5), Thailand (2), Taiwan (2), Philippines (4), USA (2), Gabon (1), Bhutan (4), Singapore (1), Sudan (1), Sri Lanka (1), Pakistan (2), Myanmar (2), Niger (4), Vietnam (1), Ghana (1), Nepal (2), Netherlands (1).

NESI was invited to be part of the faculty and lecture on ‘Integration of immunisation and other health interventions in the health service context’.

Troped Advanced Vaccinology Course

Rixensart-Belgium 10 January, 2010 to 15 January, 2010

The TropEd advanced vaccinology course was organised by the Institute of Tropical Medicine and International Health, Berlin, GSK Biologicals and NESI/UA, from 10 to 15 January 2010 in Rixensart, Belgium. There was a collaboration with 3 Universities of South Africa (Cape Town,  Pretoria and Limpopo) and the University Cheikh Anta Diop (Senegal). The course is an accredited module (2 ECTS credit points) in the TropEd Masters Programme in International Health. TropEd is a network of institutions for higher education in International Health (including 33 European institutions and 7 non-European institutions). Forty participants from developing and industrialised countries attended the course: Ethiopia (2), Eritrea (1), Columbia (1), Sudan (3), Nigeria (3), Nepal (1), Kenya (3), India (1), Taiwan (1), Indonesia (1), Belarus (1), Belgium (2), Germany (13), the Netherlands (3), Canada (1), Panama (1), Spain (1), Switzerland (1).

Teaching methods include seminar-style and interactive lectures, group work on specific diseases, and a visit to a vaccine production site. Students had to write a 5-page assignment on a self-defined topic relevant to vaccines and immunisation, which was evaluated by the course organisers.

NESI staff gave lectures on the following topics: mission and achievements of NESI (presented during the opening session); HPV vaccines; adolescent vaccination; decision-making process for new vaccine introduction; malaria global burden and interventions. NESI also co-facilitated the group work and chaired several sessions.

2009

“SAVIC-Gauteng 2009 EPI symposium” – Introduction of new vaccines into national immunisation programmes

Johannesburg-South Africa 2 February, 2009 to 3 February, 2009

The SAVIC-Gauteng 2009 EPI symposium was organised by SAVIC/University of Limpopo and Gauteng Province Department of Health, in partnership with the South African national Department of Health, WHO/AFRO, NESI/UA and the University of Pretoria. The symposium was approved for accreditation.
The official opening address was given by Dr. Stella Anyangwe from WHO country office. The opening function was also attended by the Representative of the Flemish Government in South Africa.

The symposium was attended by 103 participants from:

  • WHO, South African National Department of Health, and Provincial Departments of Health: Mpumalanga, North West, Gauteng, Western Cape and Limpopo Provinces.
  • DENOSA (Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa)
  • Academia: Tshwane University of Technology, University of Johannesburg, University of Pretoria, University of Witwatersrand, University of Limpopo, National Institute for Communicable Diseases and NESI/University of Antwerp.
  • The vaccine industry: Biovac Institute, GSK, MSD, Sanofi Pasteur and Wyeth SA.

The objective of the meeting was to discuss the introduction of new vaccines into national immunisation programmes, as South Africa recently took the decision to introduce pneumococcal and rotavirus vaccines and a combination vaccine (pentavalent) including IPV.
NESI provided technical and financial support for the symposium. Prof. Meheus gave a presentation on ‘New vaccine introduction and programmatic implications’. Dr. Dochez presented on ‘HPV vaccines’. The new EPI schedule for South Africa was presented by the EPI manager, Dr. Johan Van Den Heever, and will become operational in April 2009. The national advisory group of experts also supports introduction of HPV vaccine but the policy decision has not yet been taken.

2008

Vaccinology Symposium

Hermanus, Cape Town-South Africa 26 October, 2008 to 28 October, 2008

The meeting in Hermanus was the fifth national vaccinology symposium of South Africa. The symposium was attended by experts from the major universities, the national and provincial departments of health, and the private sector. The symposium was organised by Prof. Barry Schoub from the National Institute of Communicable diseases/National Health Laboratory Service, and linked with Witwatersrand University in Johannesburg. The meeting aimed to foster national (South African) expertise teams in vaccinology, an objective in line with NESI objectives and activities. South Africa being the only sub-Saharan country with a significant private sector, the public/private sector collaboration and schedule harmonisation were interesting issues for discussion. Prof. André Meheus was invited guest speaker and presented on ‘Introduction of new vaccines: public health and policy decisions’ and on ‘Adolescent vaccination’. Both topics were of great relevance as South Africa recently took the decision to introduce pneumococcal and rotavirus vaccines and a combination vaccine (pentavalent) including IPV. The national advisory group of experts also supports introduction of HPV vaccine but here the policy decision has not yet been taken.  The topic on adolescent vaccination was of great interest related to potential HPV vaccine introduction, the need for booster doses and catch-up vaccinations for young adolescents.

Second Regional Vaccinology Course for Francophone countries

Ouidah-Benin 4 October, 2008 to 11 October, 2008

Following a successful first workshop in Douala in 2007, the second Francophone regional vaccinology course was organised by WHO/AFRO and the Ministry of Health of Benin, in collaboration with UNICEF, NESI and the University Cheikh Anta Djop (Dakar, Senegal), from 4 to 11 October 2008. The purpose of this vaccinology course was to build capacity of immunisation key players in countries of the AFRO Region in scientific and public health aspects of vaccines and vaccination programmes.

The course aimed to contribute to the establishment of competent national immunisation technical advisory groups (NITAGs), capable of preparing evidence-based recommendations to Ministries of Health on the introduction of under-utilised and new vaccines, such as Hepatitis B, Hib, conjugate pneumococcal and meningococcal vaccines, rotavirus vaccines and HPV vaccines. In the future, these technical advisory groups may also consider vaccines that are in the pipeline, such as malaria, TB and HIV vaccines. As countries take up the challenge of deciding which vaccines to introduce, WHO/AFRO and partners want to ensure that these technical advisory groups have all the available information at their disposal to make informed, evidence-based decisions.

Participants included professors/academics/researchers (13), EPI managers (17) and WHO/UNICEF staff members and EPI focal points (11). The course was attended by 41 participants of the following countries: Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Guinée, Madagascar, Mali, Niger, RDC, Rwanda, Senegal and Togo. Facilitators were from WHO/AFRO and Inter-country teams (5), WHO/HQ (2), NESI (3), WHO/Benin (4), UNICEF/Benin (1), University of Bamako (1) and PATH MVI (1).

The actual vaccinology course was preceded by a two-day Training of Trainers workshop, to enable the facilitators to peer review course content and group work. Teaching methods during the course included: individual pre-reading, lectures and short presentations using interactive media, group work, discussions in plenary and group sessions, case studies and role playing. Discussions and requests for clarifications were held after each set of complimentary presentations.

The overall evaluation of the course was very positive: all topics were rated above 70%, and 79% of all the topics were rated between 80 and 90%. Lectures which were most appreciated included: basic scientific aspects of vaccine development, vaccine terminology, immunology, clinical trials, ethical aspects, and the different presentations on new vaccines.

Second Regional Vaccinology Course for Anglophone Countries

Nairobi-Kenya 4 August, 2008 to 9 August, 2008

Following a successful first vaccinology course in Douala, the second regional vaccinology course was organised in English and was hosted by the Republic of Kenya and co-financed by WHO, UNICEF, GAVI, USAID and NESI.

The 2nd Regional Vaccinology course targeted teachers or lecturers from medical schools, national EPI managers as well as EPI focal persons from WHO/UNICEF and other partners. The objectives of this regional vaccinology course were to train vaccinology trainers, to equip participants with the basic principles of immunology and specificities of a vaccine, how it is developed, produced, tested and utilized. As countries take up the challenge of deciding which new vaccines to introduce, they will need to have all available information at their disposal to make informed, evidence-based decisions.
The course was organised by WHO/Kenya with support from WHO/AFRO. In total, there were 33 participants and 18 co-facilitators. Participants and facilitators invited were from the following 15 countries: Botswana, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Belgium, Switzerland, Burkina Faso and Congo. Among these participants, there were 12 university academic staff, 12 national EPI managers and 9 WHO/UNICEF EPI focal persons. The course was co-facilitated by 18 experts: WHO/AFRO (5), WHO/HQ (2), WHO/IST South & East (1), WHO/IST-West (1),  University of Antwerp/NESI(4), University of Limpopo- MEDUNSA –Campus (2), University of  Ghana, Accra and  Kwame Nkrumah University of Science & Technology in Kumasi (2) and MSP/Ghana (1). 
The course was conducted in two successive sessions: two days for training of trainers (ToT) and six days for the vaccinology course. During the 2 day ToT session, facilitators were updated on lesson plan design and academic skills. The facilitators finalised their respective vaccinology lessons and a micro-teaching session (rehearsal) was organised to ensure that all lectures fully addressed the course objectives.

The course was opened and closed by the WR/Kenya and the UNICEF Representative of Kenya, respectively. The course content included: the scientific basis of vaccinology; the vaccine development process including vaccine clinical trials, the prequalification, registration, production and quality control of a vaccine; the status and new developments of Routine EPI vaccines and their implementation strategies; practical aspects of development and testing of new vaccines and specific management aspects of new and under-utilised vaccines; vaccine safety, vaccination in special target groups (immuno-compromised, pregnant women, adolescents and elderly), vaccine cost-effectiveness; future vaccines; EPI training and vaccine research. The sessions were very interactive through daily plenary sessions, group discussions and case studies. Balance between participants and facilitators led to very dynamic exchanges.

Participants evaluated the course daily regarding objective achievement, content relevance, effectiveness of facilitation and participation, and appropriateness of material organization. Those evaluations were very positive and revealed a satisfactory index of between 68%-91%. The summative qualitative evaluation of the vaccinology course revealed a satisfactory index of 86%. The need to improve the course through development of training modules and handouts was stressed by participants and facilitators. The course was strongly supported by the MOH/Kenya, WHO/Kenya and UNICEF/Kenya, and the need was stressed to conduct such vaccinology courses at inter-country and national levels.

Overall this 2nd regional vaccinology course for Anglophone countries was highly appreciated.

Some key recommendations of the course included:

  • To organise a workshop to develop descriptive modules and handouts on vaccinology in collaboration with HQ, UNICEF, NESI and the EPI pre-service training network.
  • To support countries and training institutions to update their training materials in line with new developments in EPI and vaccinology, and to replicate similar trainings.
  • To conduct subsequent regional vaccinology courses in order to get a critical mass of potential facilitators within countries.
  • To support pre-service training institutions to use EPI curricula prototypes.
  • To mobilise needed financial and human resources to support inter-country and in-country vaccinology training.

 

Last updated: 11 October, 2017 - 14:42