Since late 2008, the Sustainable Immunization Financing (SIF) Program has been operating in twelve African, and three Asian pilot countries.
Using a collective action approach, SIF invites key stakeholders - especially parliamentarians, and senior officials from ministries of health and finance - to come up with innovative immunization financing solutions. Fourteen countries have participated in SIF-sponsored parliamentary briefings; ten have hosted two or more briefings. Ten countries have participated in SIF-supported international peer exchanges. Outputs from these activities range from declarations and action plans with strategic aims to revenue generation proposals, to legislation creating national immunization trust funds.
To date, 10 out of the 15 pilot countries have increased their routine immunization budgets. Immunization legislative projects are underway in Cameroon, DRC, Kenya, Nepal, Sierra Leone, Sri Lanka and Uganda. The proposed legislation will assure that a budget line dedicated to immunization financing will be visible to parliament and protected by law.
In the past year, advocacy activities have become more country-specific. SIF has helped organize sub-national immunization financing briefings in four countries. Specific advocacy activities have been inserted into the cMYPs of ten pilot countries. Three countries have developed few or no SIF advocacy activities: Nigeria, Rwanda and Ethiopia.
This article also appeared in the September Global Immunization Newsletter.