Seventy-three IAPHL members attended the 15th TechNet Conference in Cascais, Portugal, October 16-20. Themes included:
- Continuous everything. Continuous improvement is a mainstay of immunization programs and supply chain management. But the conversations during the week highlighted the need for continuous everything—working together to improve immunization supply chains (iSC), building capacity to manage iSC more effectively and efficiently, and ensuring that country priorities are first.
- No more business as usual. This was a call to action to be willing to change the way things have always been done to bring about improvements.
- Question the dogmas that were set up more than 30 years ago. This was among the most poignant statements of the week, made by John Lloyd, one of the original ‘fathers’ of EPI and the iSC. The world is different today with new technologies, vaccines, increasing populations, and new challenges to the iSC. All partners working in the iSC must adapt and be willing to question the status quo to increase access to vaccines and ultimately increase coverage rates.
- Raising the profile of the iSC by looking beyond iSC. iSC can gain more traction by engaging other health programs and supply chains, financial decision-makers, human resource leaders, etc. One suggestion was that ‘integration’ be retired and ‘interoperability’ taken up— finding context-specific and appropriate ways to achieve better connections between supply chains.
- Collective impact is an using collaboration to ensure that priorities are aligned across governments, partners, and funders. “We all have a key role to play to ensure children are immunized.”
Highlights from TechNet