The World Health Organization (WHO), represented by its Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean and in coordination with the Ministry of Health (MOH) and the UNICEF held recently the Twenty Third Meeting of the Eastern Mediterranean Regional Working Group on the Global Alliance for Vaccines & Immunization (Gavi) at the Intercontinental Hotel Muscat.
The meeting, which held under the patronage of H.E. Dr. Akjemal Magtymova, WHO Representative to the Sultanate, gathered a number of National Managers for Expanded Programme on Immunization (EPI), as well as the Health Systems Strengthening Managers from Afghanistan, Pakistan, Djibouti, Sudan, Somalia and Yemen.
The two-day meeting reviewed the progress in implementing the EPI activities supported by Gavi, identified weakness and gaps and recommended corrective measures, reviewed the progress on implementation of Gavi Partners' Engagement Framework activities, under Targeted Country Assistance (TCA), and addressed the implementation of the Health Systems Strengthening agreed activities that should improve the EPI access and coverage in the Gavi eligible countries. In addition, briefed and updated the participants on the available new Gavi window of support and the Gavi new policies.
Dr. Nadia Talab, EPI and Vaccine-Preventable Disease Advisor pointed out that Gavi vaccines are all immunizations provided for children, including the expensive vaccines, due to the need of the concerned countries for these types of vaccines.
The EPI Advisor also added that the meeting aimed at discussing all the aspects related to increasing the coverage of vaccines required for children in the Eastern Mediterranean Region countries in cooperation with the Gavi. It especially focused on the low-income countries in the Region that are dependent on Gavi; Afghanistan, Pakistan, Djibouti, Sudan, Somalia and Yemen.