The International Association of Immunization Managers (IAIM) Inaugural Conference is taking place in Istanbul on Tuesday 3rd and Wednesday 4th March. Immunization is the one of the “best buys” in public health, saving millions of lives each year. Yet, too often, immunization managers are under-trained in management and leadership, and do not have the skills or resources needed to manage their programs as effectively as possible. Better performing immunization programs not only transform the health of communities, but can help to strengthen health systems and assist authorities in responding to public health emergencies.
Significant progress has been made in improving immunization coverage over the last 40 years. Smallpox has been eradicated and, despite sporadic outbreaks and real challenges, gains are being made in poliomyelitis eradication and measles control. Moreover, global immunization coverage for basic vaccines is at its highest level in history. Notwithstanding this progress, approximately 20 percent of children still do not receive the benefit of immunization. Closing this coverage gap and overcoming other challenges will increase in complexity as new vaccines are added to immunization programs.
To that end, immunization managers — the individuals responsible for integrating all elements of each country’s immunization program — will play an increasingly vital role as we work to meet global and regional immunization targets. The challenges that remain reinforce the need for immunization managers to share best practices to help ensure we do not roll back recent gains in coverage.
At the International Association of Immunization Managers’ (IAIM) Inaugural Conference, nearly 150 of its members will discuss how their diverse experiences can inform efforts to improve national immunization programs and build robust health systems. Participants from more than 70 countries will take part in informational sessions led by immunization experts, panel discussions and breakout meetings. They will discuss challenges facing their vaccination programs and share information and best management practices to help them achieve better performing programs.
The event is taking place at the Istanbul InterContinental Hotel.