The International Association of Immunization Managers Holds Inaugural Joint Regional Meeting in Beijing
Beijing, China — September 22, 2016 — The International Association of Immunization Managers (IAIM), based at the Sabin Vaccine Institute (Sabin), today began its first-ever regional meeting for members from Asia and the Pacific in Beijing, China.
The meeting provides IAIM members – immunization managers and other health professionals – with the unique opportunity to share their insights and expertise surrounding immunization system management with peers from across the region. In addition to featuring presentations from international speakers, the meeting will provide members with opportunities to network and conduct in-depth discussions of specific management solutions, which will help them advance immunization efforts in their countries.
While much progress has been made globally in reaching the public with immunizations, one in five children across the world still do not have access to routine immunizations. Immunization managers, who lead each country’s immunization system, are tasked with ensuring that vaccines are delivered in the right quantities, at the right time and to the right people. These unsung heroes are also responsible for organizing national immunization days, responding to outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases, communicating with the public about vaccines and ensuring that they have up-to-date immunization records for their population. However, they are mostly untrained in management and leadership – the very skills that will enable them to advance the performance of their immunization system.
IAIM is the first organization that specifically targets this need, providing immunization managers with management training in a marketplace dominated by technical training programs. By bringing together immunization managers from across Asia and the Pacific for a comprehensive, multi-day discussion of how to enhance and develop critical management and leadership skills in the field, immunization systems within the region will be strengthened, thus helping prevent future public health emergencies and extending the benefits of vaccination to everyone.
“The vaccination programs led by IAIM members in Asia and the Pacific are making great strides, but achieving their goals and maintaining them depends on immunization managers’ ability to manage and advance their countries’ immunization systems sustainably and effectively” said Peter Carrasco, director of the IAIM Secretariat at the Sabin Vaccine Institute. “It is a wonderful opportunity for IAIM to bring together such a talented, committed group of immunization managers to further the important conversations that need to take place in order for that to be achieved. Together, by reviewing recent progress, identifying management roadblocks and learning from their peers, managers can map out ways forward.”
More than 175 attendees are expected to participate in the inaugural meeting, which runs September 22-23, 2016 and is co-hosted by the Chinese Preventive Medicine Association. Countries represented at the meeting will include Bangladesh, Bhutan, Botswana, China, India, Japan, Malaysia, Micronesia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Singapore, Solomon Islands, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Timor-Leste, United Arab Emirates, United States of America, and Vietnam. Representatives from the World Health Organization, the Chinese Preventative Medicine Association, and the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention will also be attending.
During the regional meeting, participants will discuss and exchange best practices in their shared efforts to implement immunization programs across Asia and the Pacific. Examples of topics of discussion will include how to overcome management challenges to achieve measles elimination; how to raise immunization coverage for hard-to-reach populations; and how to use information systems to strengthen the management of immunization programs.
About the International Association of Immunization Managers
The International Association of Immunization Managers (IAIM) is the first-ever international association for immunization managers. IAIM is a membership organization whose objectives are to establish a forum where immunization managers can discuss and exchange best practices; build and support international and regional networks of immunization managers; and provide immunization managers with opportunities to develop their technical and leadership capacity. IAIM is currently governed by an ad hoc Governing Council composed of 13 members, and its Secretariat is based at the Sabin Vaccine Institute. For more information, please visit http://www.iaimanagers.org/.
About the Sabin Vaccine Institute
The Sabin Vaccine Institute (Sabin) is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization of scientists, researchers and advocates dedicated to reducing needless human suffering from vaccine-preventable and neglected tropical diseases (NTDs). Since its founding in 1993 in honor of Dr. Albert B. Sabin, the developer of the oral polio vaccine, Sabin has been at the forefront of global efforts to eliminate, prevent and cure infectious and neglected tropical diseases.