Delegations from over 20 countries participated in this session which provided the opportunity for Ministers of Health and their delegations to engage in open dialogue with the GAVI Secretariat on all aspects of the Alliance’s engagement with countries
Copyright GAVI/2011/Saiful Huq Omi
Delegations from over 20 countries participated in this session which provided the opportunity for Ministers of Health and their delegations to engage in open dialogue with the GAVI Secretariat on all aspects of the Alliance’s engagement with countries.
Country representatives expressed their appreciation for financial and technical support provided through GAVI which enables governments to make new vaccines against major diseases available to their populations. “GAVI support has helped us to make progress in immunization with a real impact, as evidenced by declining child mortality rates” says Dr Ntakarutimana, Minister of Health in Burundi.
GAVI’s co-financing requirements are honoured by the great majority of countries and the value of this policy in terms of enhancing country ownership and burden sharing has been recognised. “We are not complaining about co-financing of the vaccines supported by GAVI – it is a good arrangement” says Dr Madzorera, Minister of Health and Child Welfare in Zimbabwe.
However, looking forward, a number of participants acknowledged the challenge to mobilize sufficient national resources to meet cumulative co-financing requirements while also making the necessary immunisation and health systems investments to cope with multiple new vaccines being introduced.
Countries that have crossed the eligibility threshold - and those with rapidly growing economies approaching the threshold - have emphasized the importance of the gradual transition out of GAVI support in order to be able to sustain the immunisation gains.
GAVI’s co-financing policy indeed provides for a four year phasing out period in recognition that countries need time to adjust immunisation budgets. The GAVI Secretariat and Alliance partners are actively working together with individual graduating countries to assess their needs and develop transition plans. Continued access to low vaccine prices is a key element to ensure programmatic sustainability and GAVI confirmed that this remains high on the agenda.
Country delegations were informed about recent changes within the GAVI Secretariat and the Alliance business plan priorities for the coming years. These were welcome as they aim to strengthen the Alliance’s capacity to engage with countries and offer tailored responses where needed to improve performance, equity, and achieve the ambitious goals that we have set ourselves.
The open and productive dialogue characterising this session is an excellent illustration of the strong partnership and shared objectives.