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Welcome to 2018 from Rafael Vilasanjuan, Gavi CSO Steering Committee Chair

posted Feb 14, 2018, 6:49 AM by GAVI CSO   [ updated Feb 14, 2018, 7:00 AM ]

Reflecting back on the key global events of 2017, we have witnessed the tragic effects of fragile states, displacement and war on too many global citizens. Despite such challenges we remain optimistic, as vaccine and immunisation programmes world-wide have been on the rise, steadily reaching more children in need. We enter the new year determined to drive forward change and progress, in order to save more lives and provide equitable access to vaccines around the world.

In order to face these challenges head-on, the Steering Committee of the GAVI CSO Constituency, are developing a 2018-2019 Strategic Framework. The principle aims of which are threefold:

  1. Support increased vaccine coverage
  2. Contribute to improving the current model in order to boost immunisation
  3. Support strong, well-coordinated, adequately resourced CSO involvement and inclusion  

Despite ongoing efforts, we recognise that there are pockets of the globe which remain unreached. These are the peoples who so desperately need the support offered by Gavi, its partners, and grass roots organisations. Therefore, increased immunisation coverage features as one of the three aims outlined in the new Strategic Framework. In order to achieve this, we seek to align policies, whilst boosting cooperation between other actors in the field of global health.     

But there are also pitfalls and shortcomings in the current model, which ultimately prevent us from meeting our coverage targets. We will need to find solutions at the margins of eligibility criteria and the transition policies, so as to ensure lasting health outcomes and to build on what has already been achieved. Hence our second strategic aim, which seeks to facilitate such change. A review of the current system with the help of CSOs, combined with advocacy, will allow us to develop more appropraite strategies to reach the under-immunised. In doing so, it will strengthen the whole system all the way along the chain.

CSOs play a crucial role in immunisation. As demand generators, educators and vaccine delivery providers; civil society agents are the sustainable lynchpin of comprehensive coverage. This is nothing new, but as a Constituency we want to continue promoting their invaluable work. This is reflected in our Strategic Framework, where over the coming months we aim to boost inclusion, increase dialogue, and capitalise on competencies and skills.

The new strategic plan aims to facilitate the best possible practices from local to global level, whilst ensuring increased exchange of knowledge and ideas among all CSOs. As we move into the new year, let us embrace change, engage in communication, and pursue partnerships, in order to maximise vaccine coverage and continue to combat global health inequalities. 

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