French Agency AMP Appoints Dr Kamel Senouci as Director of SIVAC Initiative (Supporting Independent Immunization and Vaccine Advisory Committees)

    PARIS, Jan. 12 /CNW/ - The French agency Agence de Medecine Preventive
(AMP) announced today the appointment of Dr. Kamel Senouci as Program Director
for the SIVAC (Supporting Independent Immunization and Vaccine Advisory
Committees) initiative. This program aims at contributing to the development
of national immunization technical advisory groups in six resource poor
countries in Africa and six in Asia. These committees will help national
health authorities to set up vaccination policy and programs adapted to their
needs and to introduce new vaccines. The project, funded by a 10 million
dollar grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, will be conducted in
partnership with the International Vaccine Institute (Seoul, Korea), and in
cooperation with the World Health Organization (WHO) and its regional and
national offices.
    Dr Senouci is a medical doctor and public health specialist who graduated
in medicine, epidemiology and public health at the Universities of Lille and
Paris (France), and in Health Policy, Planning, and Financing at the London
School of Economics and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.
    Dr Senouci worked within the French Ministry of Health, contributing to
the implementation of new public health laws. Most recently he worked at WHO
Lyon office (International Health Regulation) and at the Pan American Health
Organization (PAHO) in the Communicable Disease Unit.
    "Supporting the establishment and strengthening of national immunization
technical advisory groups is one of WHO's priority" said Dr Philippe
Duclos,Senior Health Adviser - Immunization, Vaccines and Biologicals at WHO,
Geneva. "This is part of the process to ensure evidence-based decision-making
at country level, which is particularly needed in view of the complexity of
the immunization programs and cost of new vaccines."
    Dr Senouci will take his position at AMP in Paris on December 1rst, 2008.
He will oversee the entire initiative and have primary responsibility for its
implementation in Africa while also overseeing the Asia activities implemented
by IVI. He will report to Dr. Brad Gessner, SIVAC Principal Investigator (PI)
& AMP Scientific Director.
    "I am very happy to join AMP" said Dr Senouci. "This new task represents
a real opportunity to fulfil a long-term public health mission, helping the
least developed countries to design and implement their own vaccination
strategies according to their specific needs and means. The expertise of
National Vaccine Advisory Committees will be critical for sustainable progress
to be made."
    Target countries will be selected among those eligible for support from
the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunizations, also known as GAVI.
Selection criteria will include an assessment of existing capacity and strong
local commitment. Both AMP and IVI will provide technical assistance and
guidance for the establishment and functioning of the committees, supplying
committees with on-site and distance training opportunities and standard
decision-making protocols, and promoting sustainability.

    About AMP

    The Agence de Medecine Preventive is a not-for-profit organization, with
headquarters at the Institut Pasteur in Paris, and offices in Benin, Burkina
Faso, Cote d'Ivoire and Senegal. Its mission is to promote preventive medicine
in the field of vaccinology and infectious diseases. AMP develops expertise
and applied research in vaccinology and offers training in epidemiology and in
management of public health programmes. AMP also organizes scientific and
technical meetings, as well as dissemination of information on health and
vaccinology. For more information, please contact Agence de Medecine
Preventive: and

    About IVI

    The International Vaccine Institute (IVI) is the world's only
international organization devoted exclusively to developing and introducing
new and improved vaccines to protect the world's poorest people, especially
children in developing countries. An initiative of the United Nations
Development Program and based in Seoul, IVI conducts research in Asia, Africa
and Latin America on vaccines against diarrheal infections, bacterial
meningitis, pneumonia, Japanese encephalitis and dengue fever. For more
information, please visit

For further information:

For further information: Philippe J. Stoeckel, Telephone number:
+33(0)1-5386-8920, E-mail:, Mobile phone:

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