JSI has long been a leader in supporting routine immunization strengthening in countries around the world, including capacity building, cold chain and logistics management, implementation of routine immunization (RI) strengthening activities, and new vaccine introduction.
In April 2016, Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, awarded a contract to JSI to expand its technical and management support in three countries—Madagascar, Niger, and South Sudan.
In Madagascar, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) has a dynamic Expanded Program on Immunization (EPI) with dedicated and motivated staff. Due to financial and human resource constraints, however, the MoHFW is in need of technical assistance in several areas related to the immunization program and monitoring and implementation of the support received from Gavi.
In Niger, the capacity of the Division d'Immunization to manage and implement programs is an on-going challenge. Niger's routine immunization program is also facing human resource constraints and limited funding as well as complicated bureaucratic processes and struggles in prioritizing between competing demands.
As a country struggling to rise out of conflict and establish its footing as the world's newest nation, South Sudan also faces challenges linked to limited resources and weak technical capacity, aggravated by on-going security concerns and the aftermath of a recent civil war. The conditions in South Sudan have left the EPI program struggling to provide basic routine immunization services while also managing campaigns to address disease outbreaks and introduce new life-saving vaccines into its system.
Over the course of this two-year project JSI's technical assistance included:
- Facilitating coordination and performance strengthening between ministries of health, interagency coordination committees (ICCs) and partners;
- Capacity building to improve health system planning and management;
- Improving vaccine coverage and equity;
- Engaging civil service organizations (CSOs) to strengthen community linkages with immunization services;
- Supporting cold chain and logistics management;
- Supporting new vaccine introduction activities for successful integration within the routine immunization system.