Photo: Hon. Elene Tine, Senegalese Parliamentarian and Parliamentary Coalition President at the Ministerial Conference on Immunization in Africa. Photo courtesy of DFA/WHO

Immunization programs all over the world face tight budgets and limited resources. This means that immunization managers, who are responsible for managing and integrating all elements of the program, don’t always get the necessary training and professional support.

I am so thrilled to be here with y’all at the Global Network for Neglected Tropical Diseases’ Second Annual END7 Student Advocacy Day. I’m Barbara Bush and I’m the CEO & co-Founder of Global Health Corps.

The first Ministerial Conference on Immunization in Africa was held this week in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The conference brought together government officials, advocates, religious leaders and partner organizations from across the continent, with ministry speakers from a dozen African countries.

In June 2015, immunization officials from Senegal, Mali and Cameroon came together in Dakar, Senegal, to discuss expenditure tracking mechanisms used by countries to improve budget accountability for immunization.

Today, Health Affairs released its February 2016 issue, focusing on the complex series of events leading to the development, purchase and eventual delivery of vaccines.

The Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization (SAGE) has released its 2015 report assessing progress on immunization around the world.

As countries around the world expand their immunization programs to reach more children and to incorporate new and under-utilized vaccines, high implementation costs often exceed public immunization budgets.

Americans have forgotten our fear of polio. We think of it as a disease of our parents’ generation; a bygone threat. America has not seen a case of wild poliovirus since 1979.

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