The Immunization Costing Action Network (ICAN) participated in a number of sessions during the 2019 iHEA World Congress in Basel, Switzerland. The ICAN, supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, is working to increase the visibility, availability, understanding, and use of evidence on the cost of delivering vaccines.
ICAN’s main Congress session showcased the latest global and country evidence on the costs of delivering vaccines in low- and middle-income countries. The ICAN shared consolidated and standardized global evidence on immunization costs, in addition to detailed data and results from costing studies in Indonesia, Tanzania, and Vietnam. Presenters included Kelsey Vaughan, ThinkWell; Fatuma Manzi, Ifakara Health Institute, Tanzania; Amila Megraini, Universitas Indonesia; Hoang van Minh, Hanoi University of Public Health, Vietnam; Logan Brenzel, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The session was moderated by Annette Ozaltin, ThinkWell.
Lessons shared during the session included data challenges due to inconsistent reporting and different costing methodologies, making comparison or benchmarking of costs across contexts difficult. Additional lessons covered challenges in estimating the cost of different delivery strategies, and estimating the cost to reach the last mile. They also identified some gaps in knowledge and a future research agenda, focused on costs to: reach the last mile; reach specific target populations; reach populations over a lifecourse (i.e. beyond infant vaccination schedules); and achieve integration with other services (primary health care).
The other ICAN session presented lessons on developing an immunization cost data repository. This presentation was part of a broader session in collaboration with colleagues from the Global Health Cost Consortium, Avenir Health and the World Health Organization, focused on developing cost repositories for HIV/TB, immunization, malaria, and social and behavior change. Kelsey Vaughan, ThinkWell, presented the methods and lessons of developing the Immunization Delivery Cost Catalogue (IDCC).
The ICAN was also heavily involved in the preparations and delivery of the Immunization Economics pre-Congress sessions, presenting on methods and costing results, discussing the need for standardization of costing approaches, debating stakeholder engagement in generating and using data and evidence, and shaping an agenda for improving the availability of immunization costing data. The ICAN also displayed five posters presenting the latest global and country evidence. More information on ICAN, in addition to the latest global evidence (and country evidence coming soon!), i available on the Immunization Economics website.