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Not Just Representatives from Health but Finance and Planning Involved in 6th PIPS Meeting

NADI, 01 October 2010 -- For the first time since PIPS was held in 2004, workshop organisers invited not only health practitioners and partners but representatives from Ministries of Finance and Planning from the region.
"I would like to thank regional Planning and Finance representatives for their presence at this meeting. They are able to join in the discussions regarding immunisation challenges that their colleagues in health face and will possibly assist with some of the issues that are faced in particular with funding," said Dr Eliab Some, UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) Chief of Health and Sanitation Programme. 
Cook Islands, Niue, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu had representatives from the Ministries of Finance and Planning.
“I’m glad we were involved in this workshop. If you don’t involve finance and planning then how can you expect us to know what the issues are, because we won’t see it as a priority as the Ministries of Health,” said Jack Louthman, Manager Ex-Chequer Services from the Vanuatu Ministry of Finance and Economic Management.
He said “during this week I learnt so much about the importance of immunisation and now when I return I will be involved more and joining the Technical Advisory Group on Expanded Programme on Immunisation.”
On the final day of the 6th Pacific Immunisation Programme Strengthening (PIPS) Workshop, regional health country delegates and partners agreed to finalise a multi-year immunisation strategic plan. The strategic plan will be based on the presentations and inputs received during the week and harmonized with regional and global plans.
Countries also agreed to join the rest of the Western Pacific Region to hold for the first time an immunisation week at the end of April 2011. The Regional Immunisation Week will be used as an initiative to gain visibility and political will at all levels.
The 6th PIPS workshop took place from September 27th – October 1st and was hosted by the Government of Fiji. The workshop was organised by the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), World Health Organisation (WHO), United States Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Government of Japan, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID), and New Zealand Agency for International Development (NZAID).
For more information please contact Donna Hoerder, UNICEF Communications Specialist – External Relations, or 679 9265 518



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