Routes Countries Can Take To Achieve Full Ownership Of Immunization Programs
Author: Michael McQuestion, Andrew Carlson, Khongorzul Dari, Devendra Gnawali, Clifford Kamara, Helene Mambu-Ma-Disu, Jonas Mbwanque, Diana Kizza, Dana Silver, Eka Paatashvili
A goal of the Global Vaccine Action Plan, led by the World Health Organization, is country ownership by 2020, defined here as the point when a country fully finances its routine immunization program with domestic resources. This article reports the progress made toward country ownership in twenty-two lower- and lower-middle-income countries engaged in the Sabin Vaccine Institute’s Sustainable Immunization Financing Program. We focus on new practices developed in the key public institutions concerned with immunization financing, budget and resource tracking, and legislation, using case studies as examples. Our analysis found that many countries are undertaking new funding mechanisms to reach financing goals. However, budget transparency remains a problem, as only eleven of the twenty-two countries have performed sequential analyses of their immunization program budgets. Promisingly, six countries (Cameroon, the Republic of the Congo, Nepal, Nigeria, Senegal, and Uganda) are creating new national immunization funding sources that are backed by legislation. Seven countries already have laws regarding immunization, and new immunization legislative projects are under way in thirteen others.