The Third Parliamentary Symposium on Sustainable Immunization Financing(SIF) begins today in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, lasting from October 21-22, 2010.

On October 7, 2010, Dr. Mama Fouda of the Cameroonian Ministry of Public Health, approved the creation of the National Immunization Trust Fund (NITF) as an alternative for sustainable immunization financing in Cameroon.

On 28 September, seventeen parliamentarians and government officials came together in Bamako to discuss ways to sustainably finance Mali’s immunization program. It was the latest in a series of Sabin-organized briefings that began in Bamako in October 2009.

SIF Program Director Mike McQuestion and SIF Senior Program Officer Jonas Mbwangue are in Dakar, Senegal today to meet with members of the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Financing and Parliament to work on recommendations for a national immunization fund.
On 8 September, SIF Senior Program Officer Diana Kizza and two members of the Kenyan Pediatric Society briefed six Kenyan MPs on immunization financing issues in the country. It was the country’s first such Sabin-organized briefing. Six of eleven Parliamentary Health Committee members attended.
From all implemented health interventions in Cameroon, immunization has been one of the most effective and most economical. It has eradicated smallpox, reduced by 99% to date the national incidence of poliomyelitis, and dramatically lowered morbidity, disability and death from diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough and measles.
I am wrapping up my week long visit to Liberia. The Ministry of Health and Social Welfare here is decentralizing, and this entails strengthening planning and budgeting in the country’s 15 counties, as well as allocation of funds to the County Health and Social Welfare Teams.

At its 15th Ordinary Session, held in Kampala on 19-27 July 2010, the African Union heads of state adopted Declaration 1 (Assembly/AU/Decl.1(XV)).

Diana Kizza, a Health Economist, is the Sustainable Immunization Financing Program (SIF) Senior Program Officer for the Sabin Vaccine Institute program in the Eastern African countries of Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda.

As we drill down to find the best routes to sustainable immunization financing, three seem particularly promising: budget reform, decentralization and democratization.

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