Health System and EPI Program
The EPI Program was established in 1981, it is part of the Family Health Department (Direction de la Sante Familiale) of the Ministry of Health.
Over the period 2006-2011, Gross National Income (GNI) in the Republic of Congo increased from $1220 to $2270 per capita, making it a GAVI-graduating country. On the other hand, according to the WHO/UNICEF-Joint Reporting Form (JRF), government expenditures on routine immunization fluctuated from $149,387 (about $1 per infant) in 2010 to $768,239 (about $6 per infant) in 2011.
For the period 2006-2009, government routine immunization expenditures averaged $500,000, about $8 per infant. In 2010 34% of the EPI program’s expenditure came from the government. This contribution decreased to 30% in 2011 as the total expenditure increased $2.1 million.
The 1992 Constitution of the Democratic Republic of Congo provides for a strong presidency in a parliamentary system with two houses and features an independent judiciary and a catalog of fundamental rights.
The Parliament of the Republic of Congo (Parlement) has two chambers. The lower house is the National Assembly (Assemblée Nationale). It has 153 members, for a five year term in single-seat constituencies. The Senate (Sénat) is the upper house. It has 72 members (six for each of the 12 regions), elected for a six year term by district, local and regional councils. Prior to the 2008 Senate election, it had 66 members; it was expanded to 72 members at that time to account for the creation of Pointe-Noire Region. Senators serve terms of six years each; terms are staggered so that one-third of the Senate's membership is renewed every two years. A person is ineligible for election to the Senate unless he is a native citizen and at least 50 years old.
Title I, Article 34 of the 1992 Constitution states: “The State is the guarantor of public health. Every citizen has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and his family, including food, clothing, housing, medical care and necessary social services. The right to create private social and health institutions is guaranteed. Social and health institutions are subject to approval by the State and governed by law.”
- February 2012: SPO Helene Mambu-Ma-Disu conducted an introductory visit to Brazzaville, met with representatives of the Ministry of Health, EPI and WHO.
- May 2012: Sabin sponsored peer exchangers from Congo to attend a costing (cMYP revision) workshop in Douala for Central African countries, hosted by WHO/UNICEF/AMP/Sabin.
- June 2012: Sabin sponsored peer exchangers from Congo to attend legislative workshop held in Antananarivo, Madagascar, which discussed the immunization law draft presented by the EPI Program of Madagascar.
- October-November 2012: Ministry of Health and Senate counterparts participated in a 4 day Sabin-sponsored immunization budget analysis and legislative workshop, in Kintele.
- November 2012: Peers from Congo (Brazzaville) attended the "Workshop on Legislative and Financial Strategies for Immunization", held in Kinshasa, DRC. The participants presented, discussed and reviewed their legislative projects with peer exchangers from 5 other countries.