The success of immunization programs relies heavily on immunization program managers, who facilitate every aspect of immunization programs, from cost-effective procurement of vaccines to the vigilant monitoring of vaccine safety and efficacy. Sabin’s IAIM Network is the largest international network of immunization managers, offering opportunities to connect, share knowledge and strengthen skills required to effectively implement immunization programs. This peer network creates opportunities for immunization professionals to share best practices and address the most pressing topics challenging immunization programs.

In this spotlight series, we will feature IAIM Network members to highlight their accomplishments as immunization managers and learn from their programs. This interview is with Caetano Gusmao, National Consultant for EVM and Supply Chain, UNICEF, Timor-Leste. This interview was edited for clarity and length. 

How long have you been an immunization manager?

I have worked for the immunization program as an EPI manager for two years (2012-2014) and as an immunization trainer for four years (starting in 2014).

Why did you want to become an immunization manager?

It is a good opportunity to learn more about immunization. By knowing and doing good things through the immunization program, we can help save people’s lives, specifically by preventing communicable diseases for children in my country and around the world.

What is the most rewarding aspect of your job?

The most rewarding aspect of my job is that I am able to learn more about immunization and meet many people from different programs as well as from different countries. We learn and share knowledge and skills about immunization through various channels.

What is your biggest professional achievement to date?

I think what I have contributed so far to the EPI program is collective team work with relevant programs and institutions. From this, the biggest achievement by the immunization program in my country is the achievement of measles elimination in 2017-2018.

In your opinion, what are the most valuable skills for an immunization manger?

The most valuable skills for an immunization manager are being able to scale up knowledge and learning how to use new and existing technologies in order to achieve improved immunization coverage and effective vaccine management.

If you or an immunization professional you know has done work you would like to share with the broader IAIM Network community, please nominate them for a future spotlight by emailing us at [email protected].