The Democratic Republic of the Congo is pursuing financial sustainability for its immunization services through legislation, budget advocacy and expenditure tracking. The Sabin Sustainable Immunization Financing (SIF) Program began its efforts in DRC in June 2009.
Immunization Program Structure
DRC’s Expanded Program on Immunization (EPI) is in located in the Disease Control Directorate, Ministry of Public Health (MOPH).
DRC’s Progress to Date
Over the period 2006-2014, the country’s Gross National Income rose from US$230 to $410 per capita, almost doubling. According to the WHO/UNICEF Joint Reporting Form (JRF), the government spent $1 on routine immunization per surviving infant in 2006. In 2014, the government spent the same amount. The government share of total routine immunization expenditures dropped from 9% to 5% over the period. Since 2010, DRC has reported consistently on JRF financial indicators. The data suggest that DRC has not progressed towards country ownership of its immunization program. Among SIF countries, DRC ranked twentieth in terms of routine immunization spending per surviving infant in 2014.
Using the SIF Budget Process Tool, the EPI team completed a budget analysis exercise for 2014 in 2015. The team completed similar exercises for 2012-2013 prior to 2015.
The team assesses subnational expenditures using a tool called Form 6. The tool distinguishes public from donor contributions. In October 2015, the team analyzed data from four districts using the tool.
In May 2012, the National Assembly established the Parliamentary Support Network for Immunization.
Fifty MPs staff the Network. Its membership also includes EPI staff, health professionals, officials from Ministries of Finance and Budget, EPI partners, and civil society. Network representatives have advocated in eight DRC provinces.
Section VII, Article 204 of the Constitution empowers provinces to organize basic health services, including immunization campaigns.
The government began drafting an immunization bill in 2012. In June 2014, work shifted from the stand-alone bill to an immunization-related health bill. In September 2015, the committee completed the immunization-related section of a legal proposal to draft the health bill.
- October 2015: Senior Program Officer organizes expenditure tracking workshop
- August 2015: Senior Program Officer and Program Director brief the Senate Vice Chairman and National Assembly President
- June 2015: Senior Program Officer joins Parliamentary Coalition mission to Katanga province
- December 2014: DRC counterparts join Congo, Malgache, Cameroonian, Malian, and Senegalese delegates in Sabin-organized peer review workshop
- December 2014: Senior Program Officer and MP network visit Maniema province
- October 2014: Senior Program Officer and MP network visit Orientale province
- May 2014: Senior Program Officer and MP network visit Kasai-Occidental and Kasai-Oriental provinces
- December 2013: Senior Program Officer and MP network visit Bas-Congo province
- October 2013: Senior Program Officer and MP network visit the city of Kisangani
- August 2013: DRC counterparts attend Sabin-sponsored colloquium
- July 2013: Senior Program Officer co-facilitates provincial financial management workshop
- June 2013: Senior Program Officer organizes a legislative workshop
- November 2012: DRC counterparts join Cameroonian, Malian, Senegalese, Congo, and Malgache delegates in Sabin-sponsored legislative peer review workshop
- June 2012: DRC counterparts survey Madagascar’s draft immunization law in Sabin-organized study tour
- March 2011: DRC counterparts attend Sabin-sponsored colloquium
- July 2010: Senior Program Officer and Program Director brief authorities from Katanga and Bas-Congo provinces
- June 2010: Senior Program Officer and WHO co-organize MP briefing
- September 2009: Senior Program Officer organizes MP briefing
- June 2009: Senior Program Officer and Program Director introduce SIF program to DRC government