Today is the last day of the 4th GAVI Parnters' Forum in Hanoi, Vietnam. We just heard a talk this morning by Andrew Witty, CEO of GSK, which was an interesting discussion of how GAVI has developed new business models for vaccine manufacturers and how vaccine and drug supply is not the only issue that the industry needs to address: they also need to focus some of their attention on the health care infrastructure and health supply systems. It was good to hear that some of these companies are addressing this gap; however, much work remains.
I attended and participated in Workshop 5, which was a panel discussion on the cold chain supply or, also more recently termed, health supply systems. There are many challenges facing the vaccine supply systems and we were able to engage the panelists on their perspectives on possible future directions for supply systems, especially concerning the fact that while there may be sufficient resources available in countries and their health departments, countries face more logistical and operational issues about actually getting the resources to the people. This implemtation challenge is something central to APAVH's work in the Asia and Pacific region, but it cannot solely be an overarching best-practices document, it really needs to be something developed with specific countries and made country-specific. APAVH can help to serve as a technical advisor here, an element that has really been neglected in the past. A holistic view of the cold chain system needs to be taken in order to develop a comprehensive and successful approach to vaccination, including birth dose, database development, training of personnel, developing the demand from pregnant mothers for vaccines, and environmental impacts of used needle disposal, among other challenges.
Now we have to think about the future work of the Asia and Pacific Alliance to Eliminate Viral Hepatitis (APAVH) and clearly there is a lot of work for us to do. It has been a very exciting meeting to learn and network with so many incredible people. I look forward to our next steps as a global initiative that will eradicate hepatitis B, including our Shandong Province project, meetings at the WHO in Geneva, our work and collaboration with Laos, our Manila Hep B Free project in the Philippines, the first Advisory Board Meeting, and working with my wonderful team of Interns!
Later this afternoon, hopefully I'll have a chance to wander around Hanoi and even see the water puppets theater - exciting!
The Asian Liver Center at Stanford University is the first non-profit organization in the United States that addresses the high incidence of hepatitis B and liver cancer in Asians and Asian Americans. Founded in 1996, the center uses a three-pronged approach towards fighting hepatitis B through outr
The Asia and Pacific Alliance to Eliminate Viral Hepatitis (APAVH) is a new global initiative established in November 2008, by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (US CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO), and the Asian Liver Center at Stanford University (ALC) to create a sustaina
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