AMP Receives $1.4 Million Grant From the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to Improve Advocacy for VACCINES and Immunization Systems in West Africa

December 8, 2009

PARIS, December 8 /PRNewswire/ — The Agence de Médecine Préventive (AMP)
has received a three-year grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to
implement a program to support immunization advocacy in West Africa.

The program, called ADVocacy for IMmunization (ADVIM), is a collaborative
effort involving the World Health Organization (WHO), the United Nations
Children’s Fund (UNICEF), and local finance, health, and planning ministries.
ADVIM’s advocacy platform will be developed by AMP and members of the EPIVAC
international network, a group of 400 health professionals involved in
immunization in 11 sub-Saharan African countries. The participating countries
will be selected among those meeting the requirements for GAVI Alliance

In West Africa, a lack of financial resources and public health
infrastructure hinder the development of successful immunization programs.
While most African governments committed to allocate 15% of their national
budgets to health as part of the Abuja Declaration of April 2001, few of them
have met this target. ADVIM recognizes that this goal may be unattainable in
the near future and will thus focus on small improvements in immunization
funding. In particular, the program will support local governments to develop
strategies to overcome financial challenges and make resources go further.

“While budget support is essential for successful and sustainable
immunization programs, additional components such as advocacy, communication,
and social mobilization are just as important, especially at district level,”
said AMP chairman Philippe Stoeckel.

ADVIM will draw on relationships with district-level health officers and
members of the EPIVAC training network to identify and leverage local
resources to improve immunization systems.

“Only through strong local financial and political commitment will
African countries benefit from the new vaccines becoming available,” said
ADVIM principal investigator Dorothy Leab. “Resource mobilization will be
identified on the basis of policy decisions and the local situation. This
will ensure that scarce funds are being used effectively.”

ADVIM will have several components, including development of an evidence
and capacity-building platform to support advocacy for immunization;
assistance to countries to identify and overcome barriers to resource
allocation; and establishment of mechanisms to sustain ongoing immunization
funding advocacy efforts.

About AMP – Founded in 1972, AMP is a nonprofit organization with
headquarters at the Institut Pasteur in Paris and offices in Benin, Burkina
, Côte d’Ivoire, and Senegal. AMP’s mission is to promote preventive
medicine and public health by developing expertise and applied research in
vaccinology; offering training in epidemiology and health program management;
organizing scientific and technical meetings; and disseminating information
on vaccinology and other health-related fields. For more information, please
visit: http://www.aamp.org

About the EPIVAC international network (EPINET or RIE) – EPINET was
created in 2007 as a component of the EPIVAC (for EPIdemiogoly and
VACcinology) in-service and academic training program, which has been
implemented since 2002 in sub-Saharan African GAVI-eligible countries.
EPINET’s main missions include: (1) providing evidence for immunization
decision making through research activities, (2) mobilizing resources for
immunization, and (3) sharing experiences and tools for improving
immunization service delivery. For more information, please visit:

About the GAVI Alliance – Launched in 2000, the GAVI Alliance is a
public-private global health partnership that includes governments in
industrialized and developing countries, international organizations (UNICEF,
WHO, and the World Bank), vaccine manufacturers, research and technical
agencies, non-governmental organizations, and foundations (notably the Bill &
Melinda Gates Foundation). The Alliance’s mission is to save children’s lives
and protect people’s health by increasing access to immunization in poor
countries. For more information, please visit: http://www.gavialliance.org

For more information, please contact Agence de Medecine Preventive:

SOURCE Agence de Medecine Preventive (AMP)

Source: newswire

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