As part of the 2022 World Immunisation Day (Week), Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, Amref Health Africa, and the Gavi Civil Society Organisation, (CSO) Steering Committee has announced a new partnership to harness the full potential of civil society to deliver on Gavi’s ambitious mission to leave no one behind with immunisation.
A statement from Amref reveals that the announcement builds on the momentum created by a Gavi Board-approved initiative to support and empower civil society organisations and communities to identify and reach underserved and missed communities.
This includes a requirement for all countries supported by Gavi to allocate at least ten percent of their combined Health System Strengthening (HSS), Equity Accelerator Funding (EAF) and Targeted Country Assistance (TCA) ceilings for activities undertaken by CSO partners.
“The decision makes Amref Health Africa the first organisation located in a lower middle-income country to host the CSO platform. Additionally, the coordination of these activities from Kenya – a country that is eligible for Gavi support – Is a unique opportunity to meaningfully include beneficiary communities and their representatives in the design and implementation of immunisation policies and programs,” the statment read in part.
Group Chief Executive Officer, Amref Health Africa, Dr. Githinji Gitahi was quoted as saying that “Civil society organisations play an essential role in supporting communities and health systems, and Amref has been at the core of working with different governments to increase sustainable health access to communities that would otherwise miss out on these essential services.
“Hosting the Gavi CSO Constituency is an exciting opportunity for Amref to support the overall global immunisation agenda – IA2030 – by expanding and deepening civil society engagement with key stakeholders, including government leaders, multilateral partners, private sector organisations and grassroots communities.”
Also speaking, the Deputy CEO, Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, Anuradha Gupta said “Civil society organisations are critical to reaching the most marginalised, as they understand the specific needs and context of these populations and have the trust and confidence of the communities we are trying to serve.
“We are counting on Amref and civil society partners to help us strengthen political commitment and accountability, build trust in vaccines, and support delivery of immunisation services so that no one is left behind.”
It was also stated that Amref will offer strategic advisory services to the Gavi CSO Steering Committee and support capacity building efforts promoted by the Gavi Secretariat across the CSO Constituency for county-led engagement and implementation.
Amref will also ensure there is coordination between the Gavi Secretariat, the Gavi CSO Steering Committee and the Constituency and will manage communications on key and relevant issues for the civil society immunisation community.
Current Chair of the Gavi CSO Steering Committee, Dr. Sheetal Sharma emphasised the need for every community to be carried along.
“No community should be left behind. The Gavi Civil Society Constituency is excited by the partnership between Gavi and Amref – the first Southern Hemisphere host for the Gavi CSO Steering Committee. The Gavi 5.0 agenda is ambitious, and we are fully committed to its success.
“Civil Society will continue to amplify the community voices and work with all partners at global, regional, national, and subnational levels to ensure immunisation remains a core intervention to deliver the existing global health goals,” she said.