WHO Scholar programme webinar series #2: immunization services throughout the life course

It’s not just about immunization: vaccination as a part of integrated health services

This blog post is part of a series about the WHO Scholar programme’s webinar series in May and June 2019 about reducing inequities and improving coverage for immunization. Learn more and register for the webinars

GENEVA, 16 May 2019 (The Geneva Learning Foundation) – “Your job is not about immunization, not just about a single health topic. There is a wide-range of different health and even non-health topics being covered.”  So Aaron Wallace from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) said in his introduction to over 700 immunization Scholars from 33 countries attending the second of six WHO Scholar programme webinars about reducing inequity and improving coverage.

Lead presenter Emily Wootton introduced the World Health Organization’s resource guide for the integration of immunization services throughout the life course. This publication is one of four new global guidelines presented in the webinar series to support Scholars leading change to improve immunization outcomes in their district, region, or country.

Watch the recording of this WHO Scholar programme webinar

“As we move to a life course approach for immunization, if we want to [achieve] impact, we really need to work in a different way. Integration with other programmes is going to become more and more important” added Wootton.

“Strong immunization systems, as part of broader health systems and closely coordinated with other primary health care delivery programmes are essential for achieving immunization goals” explained Emily Wootton.

So how do we integrate the delivery of vaccines along the life course? “Integration requires a global approach and an understanding of each specific context to be efficient” said Aaron Wallace. Wootton and Wallace warned Scholars to be “very careful” about the interventions they choose to integrate and ask themselves whether the changes they propose are going to be acceptable. “Don’t try to do everything all at once.”

WHO defines integrated health services as “health services that are managed and delivered so that people receive a continuum of health promotion, disease prevention, diagnosis, treatment, disease-management, rehabilitation and palliative care services, coordinated across the different levels and sites of care within and beyond the health sector, and according to their needs throughout the life course”.

By 6 July 2019, this new WHO Scholar programme cohort will create hundreds of peer-reviewed, context-specific action plans to improve immunization outcomes, helping to transform four different WHO and UNICEF guidelines into action.“We would love these projects that people develop now to be implemented in the future,” concludes Emily Wootton.

About the WHO Scholar programme webinar series and course to reduce inequities and improve coverage

  • Over 2,000 immunization professionals from 96 countries have registered to participate in this open webinar series, with more than a third of active participants working at the district level.
  • 300 have been selected by the World Health Organization to participate in the first cohort of the WHO Scholar Level 2 certification in reducing inequities and improving coverage.
  • By 6 July 2019, this cohort will create hundreds of peer-reviewed, context-specific action plans to improve immunization outcomes, helping to transform WHO guidelines into action.

Making bright spots happen: WHO immunization Scholars from 90 countries commit to achieving impact

GENEVA, 15 May 2019 (The Geneva Learning Foundation) – “Bright spots” in routine immunization are stories about immunization programmes that have successfully improved performance at a subnational level in LMICs and LICs.

We can wait for them to happen. We can try to find them.

Or we can support those who make them happen.

On 15 May 2019, 189 Scholar Alumni from the latest cohort of the World Health Organization’s course on routine immunization planning united to commit to achieving impact towards the global goals for immunization.

Every Scholar has already developed a practical plan to improve routine immunization in their context, and has helped their colleagues improve their plans.

Now they are taking action to move from ideas to implementation.

Over one-third of Scholar Alumni work at the district level, where children live and where immunization outcomes actually happen.

They are part of a larger group of over 1,000 Alumni of the WHO Scholar programme. The first impact evaluation of the programme found a surprising number of Alumni who documented improved immunization coverage as a result of implementing projects that began as course work.

By actively supporting each other, Scholars hope to multiply such individual success stories into a collective effort where course work is transformed into implementation on the road to impact.

On 22 May, Scholars will reconvene, this time to hear first-hand such success stories from 60 WHO Scholar programme Alumni.

Over 400 Alumni are already actively supporting colleagues as Accompanists, peer tutors and coaches who demonstrate exceptional leadership and genuine care for colleagues who, when they first met, were complete strangers from halfway around the world.

This inaugural meeting is a milestone in the Geneva Learning Foundation’s project development to establish the first Impact Accelerator, a radically new approach to achieve impact better and faster, together.

WHO Immunization Monitoring Academy (IMA) Webinar 04: Denominators (recording and resources)

GENEVA, 14 November 2018 – The objectives of this webinar on denominators were:

  • Discuss use of population estimates in immunization
  • Discuss challenges with population estimates
  • Provide concrete ideas to strengthen:
    • Denominators for coverage monitoring
    • Targets for planning

Mamadou Diallo from UNICEF was Jan Grevendonk’s guest for this webinar.

IMA webinars are open to everyone. If we reach capacity (1,000 participants), you can still participate in the event on our Facebook page, where it will be broadcast on Facebook LIVE.

Want to know more about the Immunization Monitoring Academy? Click here