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AMP Receives $1.4 Million Grant From the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to Improve Advocacy for VACCINES and Immunization Systems in West Africa
Date:12/8/2009

PARIS, December 8 /PRNewswire/ -- The Agence de Medecine Preventive (AMP) has received a three-year grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to implement a program to support immunization advocacy in West Africa.

The program, called ADVocacy for IMmunization (ADVIM), is a collaborative effort involving the World Health Organization (WHO), the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), and local finance, health, and planning ministries. ADVIM's advocacy platform will be developed by AMP and members of the EPIVAC international network, a group of 400 health professionals involved in immunization in 11 sub-Saharan African countries. The participating countries will be selected among those meeting the requirements for GAVI Alliance funding.

In West Africa, a lack of financial resources and public health infrastructure hinder the development of successful immunization programs. While most African governments committed to allocate 15% of their national budgets to health as part of the Abuja Declaration of April 2001, few of them have met this target. ADVIM recognizes that this goal may be unattainable in the near future and will thus focus on small improvements in immunization funding. In particular, the program will support local governments to develop strategies to overcome financial challenges and make resources go further.

"While budget support is essential for successful and sustainable immunization programs, additional components such as advocacy, communication, and social mobilization are just as important, especially at district level," said AMP chairman Philippe Stoeckel .

ADVIM will draw on relationships with district-level health officers and members of the EPIVAC training network to identify and leverage local resources to improve immunization systems.

"Only through strong local financial and political commitment will African countries benefit from the n
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SOURCE Agence de Medecine Preventive (AMP)
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