Sri Lanka is pursuing financial sustainability for its immunization services through expenditure tracking. Sabin’s Sustainable Immunization Financing (SIF) Program worked with officials in Sri Lanka from 2008 to 2016.
Immunization Program Structure
Sri Lanka’s immunization services are managed by the Epidemiology Unit, located in the Family Health Bureau, Ministry of Health (MOH).
Sri Lanka’s Progress
Over the period 2006-2014, Sri Lanka’s Gross National Income rose from US$1,350 to US$3,400 per capita, a 152 percent increase. According to WHO/UNICEF Joint Reporting Form (JRF), the Sri Lankan government spent $25 on routine immunization per surviving infant in 2006. By 2014, this figure had dropped to $19, a 24 percent decrease. While decreasing in absolute terms, the government reported that its share of total routine immunization expenditures rose from 77 percent to 93 percent over the period. Since 2010, Sri Lanka has reported inconsistently on JRF financial indicators. The data nevertheless suggest that Sri Lanka has progressed towards country ownership of its immunization program. Among SIF countries, Sri Lanka ranked seventh in terms of routine immunization spending per surviving infant in 2016.
A National Immunization Policy was approved by the Ministry of Health in April 2014. Chapter 5 of the policy guarantees that the government will provide sufficient funding for the timely procurement and supply of quality vaccines and logistical support. It further stipulates that the government will establish a separate line item for the National Immunization Program (NIP) within the Ministry of Health budget, and that all provincial authorities must ensure the timely availability of adequate funds and other resources. Chapter 5 also establishes a mechanism to monitor the financial sustainability of the NIP.
The Epidemiology (EPI) Unit examined immunization costs in Kalutara district in September 2014. The immunization costing study was expanded to include seven out of the nation’s twenty-five districts, and revealed that the estimated cost to immunize one child under five years is about $13.
- July 2014, May 2016: Sri Lankan counterparts join Nepalese, Cambodian, Mongolian, Vietnamese, and Indonesian delegates in Sabin-sponsored peer review workshops
- June 2013: Sabin Senior Program Officer organizes national briefing
- February 2013: Sabin Senior Program Officer, Ministry of Health counterparts organize subnational briefing, propose immunization co-financing
- February 2012: Ministry of Health begins series of SIF-assisted district-level costing studies
- February, July 2010, August 2011, March 2012: Sabin Senior Program Officer, Ministry of Health, partner agency counterparts organize parliamentary briefings
- December 2008: Sabin Senior Program Officer and SIF Program Director introduce SIF program to Sri Lankan government
Last Updated July 12, 2016