Gavi Helps to Immunize All Children in the Central African Republic

Gavi CEO Dr. Sania Nishtar (fourth from left, with scarf) and senior Gavi leadership meeting with Alliance and local partners in the Central African Republic. (Source: Gavi)

First published April 4, 2024 by Gavi.

Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance announced today it will increase its support to strengthen data systems, human resources, and community engagement for immunization in the Central African Republic (CAR).

The commitment follows dialogue with His Excellency President Faustin-Archange Touadéra, Prime Minister Félix Moloua, Minister of Health Dr. Pierre Somse, and Alliance partners during a two-day visit to CAR by Gavi CEO Dr. Sania Nishtar in her first visit to a Gavi-implementing country since taking on the role in mid-March.

“Investing in prevention is the smartest use of our limited health resources and within this investment, vaccination is the best buy to protect our children. My goal is to ensure everyone is protected against life-threatening diseases even in the hardest to reach regions of our country,” said H.E. President Touadéra.

In consultation with Alliance Partners representatives in CAR, Gavi and the Ministry of Health aligned on three key health systems priority needs for investment supporting immunization: data, health workforce and engagement at community level. Repurposing of existing funds would amount to an additional three million USD in support of these three country-led priorities jointly identified in Bangui.

Among topics discussed were recent coverage survey findings in the Central African Republic, and the Ministry of Health’s proactive approach to utilizing data insights for strengthening routine immunization. The discussions underscored the importance of data-driven decision-making for impactful results, particularly to better identify zero dose and under-immunized children across the country.

In response to requests from CAR leaders including Minister of Health Dr. Somse to strengthen this effort, Gavi will be making an additional significant investment in District Health Information System (DHIS2) to help the country establish a solid data foundation for its immunization work. The aim is to leverage data insights from these enhanced systems and ensure no child is left behind.

“Gavi’s mission is to ensure every child has access to the transformative and lifesaving power of vaccines,” said Dr. Sania Nishtar, CEO of Gavi. “We welcome CAR’s positive and proactive approach to accepting results from a recent survey and their commitment to build data systems as the foundation for increasing immunization coverage. This additional investment is a testament to our commitment to collaborate towards these critical goals.”

Gavi and the Central African Republic have been collaborating on routine immunisation and outbreak response in the country since 2002, working in close partnership with Alliance partners including the World Health Organization and UNICEF.

“The announcement today will consolidate health system support towards three priority areas which have the maximum potential of impact to serve the needs of our population”, said Minister of Health Dr. Pierre Somse.

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