WFPHA International Vaccination and Capacity Post-Workshop Newsletter

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1.- Overview of the Workshop

The International Vaccination & Capacity Workshop hosted on May 22nd at Campus Biotech in Geneva, Switzerland was enormously successful registering 300+ public health professionals, doctors, diplomats, professors and students from each continent around the world. This was in addition to the 25,131 reaches via our Facebook livestream of the workshop event and 84 shares for participants who were not able to attend.


The workshop was full of robust and stimulating discussions between the audience (both in person and online) and our 20 high-level IMG 5100eloquente speakers from various health sectors around the world. These interactions offered a strong interdisciplinary insight into the challenges and potential solutions around vaccinations and capacity. These speakers discussed strategies and good practices to increase primary prevention through increased capacity (from human to infrastructures to sustainable investments and beyond) applied to the vaccination context. Human Resources for Health (HRH) are at the core of “capacity”, which is an essential element of the Global Charter for the Public’s Health. Although there is increasing recognition that HRH are essential for the achievement of broader development goals, including Universal Health Coverage, we face a global crisis. This crisis is characterised by: sub-optimal leadership and governance; inequitable distribution; widespread shortages; poor performance; and lack of responsiveness to the needs of communities. The suboptimal resources for health are not limited to HRH only but embrace also infrastructures, institutional capacity, and strategic investment. This May, the WFPHA took the lead in enhancing the discourse on vaccination and capacity to enable its members, partners and stakeholders to increase their knowledge and advocacy efforts on these important global priorities.


With the success of these discussions and interactions, the WFPHA is confident that the information and thoughts presented at the workshop will feed into the deliberations of civil society leading up to the United Nations Assembly in September 2019 on Universal Health Coverage.



2.- Highlights from the Workshop

After Professor Laetitia Rispel opened the workshop, Dr Marta Lomazzi spoke on the inspiration and idea of the workshop, explaing that the “WFPHA works towards increasing global public health and strongly believes the need to work intersectorally… this workshop was developed as a platform for debate to challenge, listen, and learn from each other”.


DG Malebona Matsoso explained that “immunization is the most precious gift that healthcare worker can give to a child.. when you immunize children, women, men, and the elderly, we give people an opportunity to live… it remains most cost effective public health intervention".

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Vaccinations are one of the World Health Organization's (WHO) top priorities. During this year's World Health Assembly, WFPHA's call to action aims to direct all actors to use an upstream approach as outlined in the Global Charter for the Public's Health. Effective health services are essential to facilitate ongoing prevention, protection, and health promotion strategies. “A truly all-society approach is needed or the situation will get even worse... the lesson learned from the Ebola crisis in 2015 was that integrating the prevention of an epidemic into a health system that are built into community engagement and to trust is key", explains Dr Rüdiger Krech, the Director for Universal Health Coverage and Health Systems at the WHO. The WFPHA recognises the dangers of increasing measles and other outbreaks and that the suboptimal resources for health are not only limited to HRH but also embrace infrastructures, institutional capacity, and strategic investment.


Professor Walter Ricciardi did not need to be present in person to deliver an incredible message. Through his video he explained that his commitment remains despite backlash and attacks of antivax and politicians.


Dr Svetlana Stefanet from UNICEF commented that “immunization is the biggest return on investment" as she proposesd a number of ways forward to increase vaccination rates through advocacy, the strengthening health and community systems and positioning immunization as a driver for equitable delivery of integrated multi-sectoral interventions. 

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Mrs Anuradha Gupta from GAVI stressed that immunisations have reduced child mortality by 60% and unfortunately where a child is born may dictate however whether or not they have access to life-saving vaccines.


Professor Bettina Borisch closed the workshop by gently explaining “we have this word trust… public health systems need to be part of society, and the people, we learn that it has to be with the people”.


Some quotes and important not-to-miss information that will bring you back to the event, in addition to the event livestream on our WFPHA facebook page and live tweets found with #VCW2019, #VaccinesWork, #GlobalCharter.

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“We need tailored strategies for dealing with vaccine hesitancy." -Professor Jon Wardle



"Engaging with vaccination companies to avoid conflict of interest requires establishing, reviewing and respecting the organization's protocols. -Professor Michael Moore




  "[We must] improve vaccine safety through research and development to win hearts and minds, clarity and consistency needed for country vaccine schedules,and invest into users’ experience to improve the experiences of finding info on vaccines." -Dr Stefan Buttigieg



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"To reach the highest rate of immunizations we need multisector improve population and community health." -Dr Viviana Martinez-Bianchi



"We can’t have universal health coverage without access to vaccination." -Dr Bruce Gellin




3.- New Diplomat of the Global Charter

Congratulations to DG Malebona Matsoso! 

photoDuring the opening of the workshop, WFPHA President Laetitia Rispel awarded DG Malebona Precious Matsoso as a Diplomat of the Global Charter for the Public's Health to recognize her efforts to spearhead improvements for public health in South Africa. DG Matsoso is the Director General of the National Department of Health in South Africa, appointed by the President of South Africa on 08 June 2010. She manages health issues for the entire country, as well as reporting to and advising the Health Ministry. DG Matsoso holds a degree in Pharmacy from the University of Western Cape, a Postgraduate Diploma in Health Management from the University of Cape Town, and a Masters degree in Law and Ethics from the University of Dundee. As a pharmacist she has worked in both the public and private sector at management level. She was a Director in Public Health, Innovation and Intellectual Property in the office of the Director General of the World Health Organisation. Her career within the field of medicine control has included posts as Head of Medicines Control Council for seven years overseeing 10 technical committees, member of the National Research Ethics Council of South Africa, and Director of the Essential Drugs and Traditional Medicines Programme. She has also been a member of various advisory panels with an emphasis on improving access to medicines and anti-retrovirals. The WFPHA is pleased to welcome DG Matsoso as a Diplomat of the Global Charter. 



4.- Call to Action

The WFPHA released a Call to Action at the end of the workshop for international action to improve the uptake of vaccination internationally and increase professionals’ capacity within and beyond this context. This call has been signed by over 20 health organizations worldwide. The Call to Action aims to direct all actors to appropriately apply the values and strategies outlined in the Global Charter for the Public's Health. This can be done through best practice that improves existing health services and enablers for a resilient health system. If your organization is interested in signing, please contact  



5.- Contiune Learning

We are pleased to announce that the full workshop will be available on our Youtube channel as a free, permanent learning, and advocacy resource. We encourage you to follow our social media to be the first to hear when the videos are posted.



6.- Sponsors

This workshop was made possible by the generous support of our sponsors and supporters. We would like to thank especially our Platinum and long standing supporter.


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