“This joint Annual Review is the First for Sudan, and it was A very Successful Exercise: Sudan’s Undersecretary of Health
On 6 and 7 November, around 300 partners from all parts of Sudan’s health sector are gathering in Khartoum to launch the country’s first ever joint annual review of the health sector (JAR). Participants included representatives from Sudan’s Health and other ministries at federal and state levels, health practitioners, staff from WHO and other United Nations agencies, development partners, civil society, academia, and private sector entities.
In the presence of high level dignitaries, including Sudan’s Undersecretary of Health, Dr Issam Mohamed Abdallah and WHO Representative for Sudan Dr Naeema Al Gasseer participants will discuss, present and launch the first ever JAR undertaken in Sudan.
The JAR functions as a report card for the health sector in Sudan. It identifies where health systems, policies and facilities are strong, but also signals areas where improvement is necessary. Finally, it provides specific recommendations on how to achieve this improvement. These recommendations cover all health sector building blocks: health governance, health service delivery, health information systems, human resources for health, medicine and medical technologies, and health financing.
Dr Issam Mohamed Abdallah, Sudan’s Undersecretary of Health, thanked the JAR team for their efforts and commented: “This joint annual review is the first for Sudan, and it was a very successful exercise. The team truly took a bottom-up approach to show what is happening in all of the States and include all parts of the country. With the recommendations from the JAR, our health policy, planning and delivery will be much stronger.”
Dr Naeema Al Gasseer, WHO Representative for Sudan, said: “Using this JAR to improve health policy and strategy will put all health partners in a better position going forward to achieve universal health coverage and healthy livings.' To institutionalise the review on a yearly basis is an important tool for accountability and will contribute to Sudan achieving the Sustainable Development Goals ensuring equity at all levels and for the most vulnerable.
The JAR process was made possible by the generous support of the Global Fund and GAVI - the Vaccine Alliance, contributing to funds made available by Sudan's Government and WHO.
Gavi is an international organisation that was created in 2000 to improve access to new and underused vaccines for children living in the world’s poorest countries. Based in Geneva, Switzerland, Gavi is the Vaccine Alliance, which brings together public and private sectors with the shared goal of creating equal access to vaccines for children, wherever they live.
A new approach to a global problem
The Gavi story begins towards the end of the 20th century, when global immunisation efforts were beginning to plateau. Despite the promising progress of the previous two decades, by the Expanded Programme on Immunization (EPI), there were still 30 million children living in poor countries who were not fully immunised. Coverage was stagnating and in some places even declining. And even though new life-saving vaccines were becoming available, beyond the original six EPI vaccines, virtually none were reaching children in developing countries, those who needed them most, because they were too expensive.
What was needed was an entirely new approach. So, with the help of a US$ 750 million five-year pledge from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, in January 2000 the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation (Gavi) was created. A unique public-private partnership, Gavi was created to bring together the best of what key UN agencies, governments, the vaccine industry, private sector and civil society had to offer in order to improve childhood immunisation coverage in poor countries and to accelerate access to new vaccines.
This model was designed to leverage not just financial resources but expertise too, to help make vaccines more affordable, more available and their provision more sustainable, by working towards a point where developing countries can pay for them themselves. It was a 21st century development model for a new millennium and one which works, by 2016 reaching close to 640 million children since its creation and preventing more than 9 million deaths in the process. And that’s just the beginning. Gavi aims to reach 300 million children between 2016 and 2020, preventing 5-6 million deaths over the long term.