National immunisation systems are constantly undergoing changes, including the introduction of new vaccines and technologies, and programme expansion to reach broader target populations beyond infants and children. In addition, the EPI programme faces external changes related to administrative decentralization, health reforms, among others. EPI programmes operate within the context of the national health systems, in alignment with global and regional strategies.
To address these changes and to ensure the smooth implementation of immunisation programmes, EPI managers and staff require skills in problem solving, priority setting, decision-making, planning and managing human, financial and material resources as well as monitoring the implementation, supervision and evaluation of services. Building national capacity in immunisation service management at all levels of the health system is therefore essential to achieve the goals of the global and regional strategic plans.
Standardised training modules, focusing on immunisation service management, for Mid-Level Managers have been developed first in 2004 by WHO/AFRO in collaboration with partners. These modules have facilitated the learning process during various inter-country and national Mid-Level Management (MLM) courses. In addition, MLM modules have been used during EPI lectures at pre-service health training institutions.
The modules were updated in 2017 by WHO/AFRO in collaboration with NESI and other partners to incorporate new policies and technologies:
In view of the above mentioned current changes, WHO/AFRO in collaboration with key immunisation partners, like UNICEF and NESI/University of Antwerp are currently revising the EPI MLM training modules. In addition, the training will be reformatted to have a mix of classroom and self-paced online training. With the inclusion of online training, the face-to-face sessions will not go beyond 3 to 4 days as compared to the traditional 11 days.
In 2008 global MLM modules were developed by WHO/HQ and partners.