In our third post from our ‘Reflections from the Field’ series, Senior Program Officer Helene Mambu-ma-Disu writes about the recent Sabin-sponsored peer exchange between SIF pilot countries, DR Congo and Cameroon. Senior Program Officer, Jonas Mbwangue, also co-hosted and arranged for key meetings with members of Cameroon’s government; discussions were largely focused on the establishment of a National Immunization Fund for both countries.
Things seem to be moving in the right direction for immunization financing in the DRC. After sponsoring and actively participating in a very successful parliamentary briefing a few months ago, we have recently organized the first SIF Sabin sponsored peer exchange for the DRC. We had the opportunity to bring five DRC immunization stakeholders to Cameroon, to allow for an exchange of experiences with their Cameroonian counter-parts, and most importantly, to discuss the necessity to establish a fund dedicated to the financing of immunization in each country, and discuss the legal, political and practical issues surrounding that endeavor.
On the Congolese delegation, we had the vice-chair of the Economic and Finance committee of the National Assembly, a member of the socio-cultural committee at the National assembly, the director of the national EPI program, a civil servant from the ministry of budget and another one from the ministry of Finance, both intimately implicated in the push for more sustainable financing for immunization.
The exchange was very successful, as it truly allowed the peers to learn from each other, and to formulate a common declaration named “Appel de Yaounde” ( Yaounde Call for Action) aimed to accelerate the establishment of a National fund for immunization in each of the countries. Watch out for next steps…