AMP's SIVAC Initiative Supports Mozambique to Set Up its National Immunization Technical Advisory Group (NITAG)

PARIS, Jan. 19 /CNW/ - The inaugural meeting of Mozambique's Committee of Experts on Immunization (Comite de Peritos para a Imunizacao, CoPI) was held in Maputo on January 7, 2011.

The CoPI is the second National Immunization Technical Advisory Group (NITAG) in a sub-Saharan African country eligible for funding from the GAVI Alliance. The first was established in Cote d'Ivoire in January 2010. The Supporting Independent Immunization and Vaccine Advisory Committees (SIVAC) Initiative played an instrumental role in the creation of both committees. Implemented by the Agence de Medecine Preventive (AMP) in partnership with the International Vaccine Institute (IVI), SIVAC works with local, regional, and international stakeholders (e.g., World Health Organization, WHO) to support low- and middle-income countries worldwide to set up or strengthen NITAGs.

The role of the CoPI is to make recommendations to government authorities on all decisions regarding immunization and vaccines such as introduction of new vaccines, appropriate vaccine schedules, financing, and research priorities and strategies.

"NITAGs have become a particularly important advisory resource in light of the complexities and advancements in immunization, the higher cost of new vaccines, and the introduction of new vaccine technologies," said Dr. Alfred da Silva, executive director of AMP. "We anticipate that the CoPI will enable the government of Mozambique to formulate contextually appropriate immunization policies and programs, increasing vaccination coverage and improving public health."

The Mozambican NITAG is composed of 15 independent, national experts from various disciplines (e.g., epidemiology, public health, pediatrics, microbiology, infectious diseases, health economics). The Minister of Health appoints members for a four-year term, renewable once. Up to 20 permanent observers, including representatives from WHO and the United Nations Children's Fund, may attend meetings but cannot vote or participate in closed sessions. Additional individuals may be invited to take part in discussions as needed. These include scientists, experts from health-related fields, representatives of civil society or religious denominations, and personnel from the Ministry of Health.

Moving forward, SIVAC will continue to provide the CoPI with logistical and technical support. Depending on the committees' specific needs, this may include assistance to its Executive Secretariat in the organization of meetings, the identification of priorities, the preparation of scientific documents, and the drafting of recommendations.

About AMP

Founded in 1972, AMP is a nonprofit organization with headquarters at the Institut Pasteur in Paris and offices in Benin, Burkina Faso, Cote d'Ivoire, Togo, and Vietnam. AMP is dedicated to improving the health and well-being of those most in need across the globe. Along with our public- and private-sector partners, we aim to:

  • Enhance scientific knowledge in support of evidence-based health policies
  • Strengthen immunization service delivery, logistics, and innovation
  • Develop human and institutional capacity for improved health system performance

Initially present in Africa and now working globally, AMP has forged strong partnerships with countries where it operates, inter-state regional institutions, international organizations, academic institutions, and the private sector. Learn more:

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SOURCE Agence de Medecine Preventive (AMP)

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Sabrina Gaber:
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