The SIVAC Initiative Supports Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan to Set Up National Immunization Technical Advisory Groups (NITAGs)

May 16, 2012, 04:00 ET from AMP

PARIS, May 16, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --

The SIVAC (Supporting Independent Immunization and Vaccine Advisory Committees) Initiative recently supported the establishment of National Immunization Technical Advisory Groups (NITAGs) in Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan.

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Established in 2009, SIVAC is implemented by the Agence de Médecine Préventive (AMP) in partnership with the International Vaccine Institute (IVI). The Initiative aims to support the creation or strengthening of sustainable NITAGs in low- and middle-income countries. The purpose is to enhance the use of evidence-based decision-making processes in the development of national immunization programs and policies.

Kazakhstan is the first middle-income country to create a NITAG with SIVAC support. SIVAC helped a national team to develop a concept paper detailing NITAG terms of reference based on World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines. The opening ceremony of the NITAG was held in Almaty on April 23, 2012, in the presence of the 13 committee members and chair, Dr. Bekshin (chief sanitary doctor), and Dr. Christian Loucq, director general of IVI.

In Kyrgyzstan, with SIVAC support, the honorable Minister of Public Health, Dr. Dinara Saginbayeva, issued a decree establishing a NITAG to ensure that national immunization policies are developed using evidence-based processes. The committee is chaired by Dr. Babadzhanov, pediatrician at the National Center for Maternal and Child Care, and includes 13 additional members. The inauguration ceremony was held in Bishkek on April 6, 2012.

"Such committees represent a great step forward for these countries. Experts in different fields of vaccinology will gather and provide recommendations based on evidence and the local context. These committees will then be very helpful in guiding the Minister of Health to make informed decisions related to immunization programs, especially in the context of the possible introduction of new vaccines," said Christian Loucq.

SIVAC has supported the creation of NITAGs in Côte d'Ivoire, Mozambique, and Mongolia. The initiative is supporting Benin, Indonesia, Lebanon, Nepal, Tunisia, Senegal, and Vietnam to establish or strengthen their NITAGs.

"In the context of the Decade of Vaccines Global Vaccine Action Plan, SIVAC, a successful partnership between AMP and IVI, is aiming to continue its technical and logistical support to all countries willing to promote the development of evidence-based recommendations for immunization policies," said Kamel Senouci, director of the SIVAC Initiative.

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