Over the last week of October, more than 10 IAPHL members attended a meeting in Kathmandu . The meeting was co-hosted by WHO’s Southeast Asia Regional Office and UNICEF’s Regional Office for South Asia, focusing on immunization supply chain (iSC) strengthening.
At the opening session, IAPHL representative Chris Wright talked about IAPHL’s history, benefits, and relevance to people working in immunization supply chains. Over the course of subsequent days, human resources for supply chain management came up many times, and there was broad recognition among participants that the usual in-service training model was no longer sufficient to meet the needs of a next-generation iSC. Discussions ranged from the need for pre-service training, professional certification, and graduate programs in supply chain and cold chain management, to the need for recognition of a supply chain cadre within governments, with defined career paths and leadership opportunities. IAPHL attendees were well-versed in many aspects of professionalizing the SCM workforce. We expect to see a surge in new members from south and southeast Asia countries.