Needs assessment in developing countries

Vaccine safety is increasingly important in low income countries for five main reasons:

  1. Alleged safety issues are derailing vaccine programs world wide.
  2. Many vaccine products are now developed for use exclusively in the world's poorest countries. If a safety concern arises it is not possible to reference any safety experience from industrialized countries.
  3. A substantial number of adverse events following immunization (AEFI) result from improper immunization practices.
  4. Existing immunization programs are already over burdened with the heavy task of immunizing every child. Most do not have additional time and resources to create and maintain a sustainable immunization safety system.
  5. The fundamental principle of clinical medicine “First Do No Harm” should hold true no matter where a person lives.

However, 65% of WHO member states including the majority of less developed countries do not have a functional immunization safety system. The time, resources and expertise needed to establish such systems are limited and it is essential to discern where to prioritize.

At the Brighton Collaboration, we implement a survey of stakeholders in the field. It is carried out in the frame of the WHO Global Blueprint Project funded by the Gates Foundation. It provides a first step towards making informed decisions by outlining the needs and resources available and current deficiencies.

The survey is expected to provide the following critical information:

  • Current objectives, infrastructure, processes and capacities for monitoring AEFIs in low income countries
  • Expressed priorities and needs to ensure appropriate capacity for post-marketing surveillance
  • Impact of and involvement in international vaccine safety initiatives

S-W-O-T Analysis of International Vaccine Safety Initiatives

Several international vaccine safety projects (IVSP) designed to improve vaccine safety monitoring are ongoing. There is, however, only limited understanding of the impact these initiatives currently have in the poorest countries. The purpose of the S-W-O-T (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) analysis is to describe the current structure and accomplishments of 10-15 of the most important of those initiatives and determine how these organizations can best serve the needs of the global effort, and propose roles and responsibilities.

At the Brighton Collaboration, we implement a structured questionnaire, designed to crystallize the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of IVSP the frame of self assessment.

The primary aim of this study is to identify the currently available international infrastructure to address the countries' gaps.