UNICEF in Action
Since 1994, UNICEF, through US and UK Government assistance, has been a key advocate and partner for the Government of Georgia in securing support for routine and supplemental immunization activities.
Since 1994, UNICEF, through US and UK Government assistance, has been a key advocate and partner for the Government of Georgia in securing support for routine and supplemental immunization activities.The long-standing partnership has encompassed the following services:
Supply Assistance – Provides the National Immunization Programme with vaccines and injection safety supplies for routine as well as supplemental immunization activities.
Advocacy and Policy Development – Provides technical expertise for the development of 2002-2006 National Plan of Action for Immunization, the 2005-2006 Hepatitis B Immunization Programme and the Injection Safety Policy and Financial Sustainability Plan for 2005-2010.
Capacity Building – Supports the improvement of institutional (cold-chain, IT equipment) and human resource capacities. The central, regional and district management levels have been fully equipped with cold-chain and IT equipment. Annually, all regional and district level management staff, along with more than 900 immunization workers, have been trained in national immunization programme management and service delivery.
Leveraging Resources for National Immunization Programme – UNICEF and USAID partook in decision-making roles in development of the country application to GAVI Vaccine Fund, thereby securing a five-year supply of Hepatitis B vaccines, financial and technical support for the enhancement of overall NIP management capacities, and injection safety.
Logistics Support – In 2000-2003, mobile immunization services, in the 24 most remote districts of seven regions of Georgia, were established. 7,000-8,000 vaccinations were administered annually to children not reached by routine immunization services in hard-to-reach areas.
Programme Communication – Since 1996, this programme has supported the development of informational materials, television and radio spots, organisation of advocacy events and press conferences.
Sustained EPI coverage rates of 80-90 per cent (since the country experienced a crisis period during mid-1990s), decreasing trends of vaccine preventable diseases and an obtained polio free certification in 2002, remain indicating evidence of the success of the national immunization programme in Georgia.
Notable progress has been achieved under the Vaccine Independent Initiative. Georgia initiated the replacement of 20 per cent shares of traditional vaccines in 2003, ensuring the procurement of 30 per cent in 2004 and will furthermore, cover 40 per cent of the vaccine costs for the 2005 programme. The 2005-2010 Financial Sustainability Plan was endorsed by the Georgian Government and international partners in 2005; by endorsing this programme, the Government of Georgia expresses firm commitment for ensuring financial resources for the phasing out of donor support for routine, as well as newly introduced vaccines, starting from 2007.