Last Friday, Sabin sponsored a meeting in Kathmandu, Nepal to discuss the establishment of a fund to ensure sustainable immunization financing in the country.
Nepal is the first of the original 15 SIF pilot countries to begin the process of creating a National Immunization Fund that would help guarantee sustainable financing for the EPI program in the future. The private sector created the fund first, and now they are working to make sure that the government can take over and efficiently run the fund, investing wisely to ensure that the costs of the program can be covered. It is encouraging to see these concrete steps being undertaken by the government to write the guidelines and regulations to allow the Fund to be put in place.
Participants included members from the Policy, Planning and International Cooperation Division of Ministry of Health (MoH), Legal Department of MoH, Expanded Program on Immunization (EPI) Team, Ministry of Finance, Parliament Secretariat, UNICEF, Rotary and the Sabin Vaccine Institute. Participants recommended forming a technical committee which will be responsible for drafting an operational manual and necessary regulation. Later, the regulation will be approved by the council of ministers.