Over 22 private sector partners will support the innovative training and mentorship programme.

Nairobi/Accra, 27 March 2019 – The Strategic Training Executive Programme (STEP) for supply chain managers is expanding to five African countries, including Kenya, Ghana, Mozambique, Madagascar and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), thanks to financial and in-kind support from the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Wholesalers (IFPW). The expansion of STEP is the result of significant country demand for stronger capacity in supply chain management. By the end of 2020, Gavi and IFPW expect more than 600 immunisation supply chain leaders to graduate from STEP programmes across Africa and Asia.

“STEP has become an essential component of Gavi’s support to strengthen supply chain management in low-income countries,” said Gavi Deputy CEO Anuradha Gupta. “With country demand increasing, what began as an effort to foster regional supply chain expertise in East Africa has extended well beyond this goal. Our continued partnership with IFPW allows even more Gavi-supported countries to benefit from improved management of health supply chains," she added.

This month, 80 supply chain managers from over 65 health centers in Kenya and Ghana will strengthen their leadership skills. Between 2016 and 2019, STEP trained 175 participants from 23 countries. Graduates have gone on to train other health professionals in effective vaccine management, multiplying the programme’s impact.

 “We have so many gaps in effective vaccine management”, said one of the STEP workshop participants in Nairobi, Irene Bosire, Nyamira County EPI Focal Point. “If we are to manage vaccines more effectively, avoid stock outs or overstocking, and ensure that all children are protected with potent and effective vaccines, these types of trainings are key to achieve this.”

Building on the private sector expertise of partners, including MSD, Merck, Safaricom/Vodacom, Philipps Healthcare, Johnson & Johnson, GSK, UPS, Freight-In-Time, Imperial Logistics, Novartis, The Kuehne Foundation, Aramex and others, STEP has helped create transformational change in vaccine delivery. With support from local partners, as well as stronger political engagement, these improvements to the supply chain have led to increased immunisation coverage in Gavi-supported countries.

“IFPW’s continued partnership with Gavi does not only bring catalytic funding which is essential to the implementation of STEP in more countries, but also provides invaluable expertise to create a sustainable, systemic change in health supply chains”, said George Bray, Vice President of IFPW Membership Engagement.

Notes to editors

About Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance

Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance is a public-private partnership that helps vaccinate half the world’s children against some of the world’s deadliest diseases. Since its inception in 2000, Gavi has helped to immunise a whole generation – over 760 million children – and prevented more than 13 million deaths, helping to halve child mortality in 73 developing countries. Gavi also plays a key role in improving global health security by supporting health systems as well as funding global stockpiles for Ebola, cholera, meningitis and yellow fever vaccines. After two decades of progress, Gavi is now focused on protecting the next generation and reaching the unvaccinated children still being left behind, employing innovative finance and the latest technology – from drones to biometrics – to save millions more lives, prevent outbreaks before they can spread and help countries on the road to self-sufficiency. Learn more at www.gavi.org and connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.

The Vaccine Alliance brings together developing country and donor governments, the World Health Organization, UNICEF, the World Bank, the vaccine industry, technical agencies, civil society, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and other private sector partners. View the full list of donor governments and other leading organizations that fund Gavi’s work here.

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