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.