33 – Reaching the unreached: putting equity at the heart of immunisation

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This special session convened representatives from governments, multilateral agencies, civil society, and the private sector to discuss best practices for achieving equity in immunisation and health

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Copyright UNICEF/2005/Indrias Getachew

This special session convened representatives from governments, multilateral agencies, civil society, and the private sector to discuss best practices for achieving equity in immunisation and health.

Dr. Moeti from the WHO opened the session and noted that equity is at the heart of WHO’s mandate and will continue to be part of the post-2015 agenda.

Helen Evans provided a brief overview of how GAVI understands equity from the gender, wealth, and geographic perspectives, and how GAVI is addressing it.

Simon Wright of Save the Children pointed out that the in countries that have high immunisation coverage, engaging communities and community-based organisation has been a key strategy. Moreover, he made the point that immunisation was the flagship for extension of universal healthcare.

Dr. Edmundo Sanchez Cruz from the Ministry of Health in Nicaragua recounted Nicaragua’s experiences in achieving health equity, highlighting the political will to finance immunisation and health services. He also underscored the importance of engaging communities as independent partners.

Adding a pharmaceutical industry perspective, Christophe Weber spoke of GSK’s differential pricing model and stressed the need for research to be funded to develop vaccines for countries that need them.

Finally, Faruque Ahmed spoke of the importance of government-civil society partnerships in advancing equity in Bangladesh and emphasised the power that grassroots organisations such as BRAC in mobilising communities.

Key messages that were highlighted in this session included the strong social and economic rationale for ensuring equity in health and immunisation, and the value of partnerships between different stakeholders to tackle some of the barriers to achieving it.

The session also emphasised the need for national frameworks for local action.

4 million

GAVI support will contribute to immunising four million children against rotavirus diarrhoea by the end of 2015.

WHO Department of Immunisation, Vaccines and Biologicals’ estimates and projections, as of October 2012

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