Every child Deserves a Fifth Birth Day
Policy advocacy is one of the most effective ways to achieve public health goals by ensuring the necessary resources, policies and political will are available to support, scale-up and sustain health programs. KANCO’s Vaccine Advocacy project works with the Ministry of Health in Kenya through the UNIT of Vaccine and Immunization Services, Donors and Civil Society Organizations on Vaccines, Immunization, Maternal and Neo-natal Child health issues. Its overall goal is to contribute, and engage in vaccines and child health advocacy to reduce the burden of vaccine preventable diseases with three main aims of:
- Advocacy for effective vaccines and immunization policies and legislation(s)
- Advocacy to ensure adequate resources, and political will for immunizations delivery in Kenya
- Raising the profile of vaccines on the health and development agenda nationally and globally
Since 2011, the project have worked to persuade policymakers, Ministry of Health and donors of their moral and economic imperative of ensuring that under-five morbidity and mortality are reduced significantly through improved investment in immunizations.
The project provides information on resources, results and gaps in policy and service delivery and promotes awareness on the benefits of vaccines and immunization services. It identifies KANCO’s particular niche in vaccine advocacy as: Working as a Civil Society agency to advocate for the necessary resources, policies and political will to sustain and scale-up universal access to vaccines and child-health services in Kenya.
The project is guided by a three –year Advocacy framework. The Strategy demonstrates a step change in both ambition and innovation by KANCO in addressing poor performance of immunization through policy advocacy
The results of the vaccines and childhood immunization advocacy have proven to be promising so far. Since the project’s inception in 2011, Kenya has reported increases in immunization budgets. Kenya significantly increased its budget for routine immunization in 2012 by 11% and 13% in 2013, and has started on the path of expenditure tracking. Though Parliament has ensured a line item for vaccine procurement and Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization co-financing, more need to be done in legislating for immunization to guarantee adequate immunization financing.
In strengthening the capacity of civil society in their watch dog role, the project engages non-governmental organizations and professional associations through national and regional advocacy platforms.
It works to ensure that CSOs have the capacity to hold national and county governments accountable for child health outcomes. Using evidence-based advocacy, it leverages KANCO’s expertise as a providers of capacity to health CSOs and utilize advocacy methods that are innovative, affordable and based on best practices to influence and inform public policy decisions affecting child health.
The project influence issues, legislations and policy by increasing awareness and engaging with stakeholders, policy and decision makers, influential individuals and groups for continued investments in vaccines and child health
Agenda for Action
Positioning vaccines and immunizations at the core of the health and children rights agendaAt the national and county levels in Kenya, CSOs and Partners have a role to play in:
- Advocating for removal of barriers and policy constraints to universal vaccines coverage and access to child health services at the country and global level.
- Advocacy for sustainable immunization financing, effective EPI policies and strategies
- Addressing stock outs and equity in vaccines coverage
- Country ownership and Implementation of Global Vaccine Action Plan (GVAP), Global Action Plan for Pneumonia and Diarrhoea (GAPDD)
- Influence Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization’s (GAVI) governance and bringing down vaccines prices as part of global vaccine advocacy agenda.