Strengthening the Armenian NITAG

15 Febrero 2016

In the framework of the joint HPID and WHO-EURO work plan to support NITAG in the European Region, the HPID Unit visited the Armenian NITAG and stakeholders on February 11th and 12th. The purpose of this visit was to present the findings of the evaluation of the performance of the Armenian NITAG conducted in November 2015, to discuss subsequent recommendations, and to develop related work plan to support the NITAG.


The Deputy Minister of Health warmly welcomed the HPID Unit. The Executive secretary and the NITAG chair were the main contact persons during the mission. Key discussions also involved other NITAG and secretariat members, the Director General and the Deputy Director General of the National Center for Disease Control and prevention (NCDC) and the head of the WHO country office.
Proposed recommendations focused on NITAG functioning processes and tools to issue evidence based recommendations and on NITAG integration into the immunization decision-making system. All recommendations were well received and much agreed upon from all parties. A work plan to implement related activities for 2016-2017, based on country’s needs, was then developed between the NITAG and the HPID Unit. More particularly and in the coming months, the HPID Unit will support the NITAG in the development of a recommendation related to HPV introduction, on which the Ministry of Health will build upon for applying to GAVI support.
Overall, great motivation and enthusiasm emerged from discussions with NITAG and secretariat members and other stakeholders met during the mission for the activities to conduct for strengthening the Armenian NITAG and immunization policy making.


Noticias y eventos relacionados

  • Armenia

    Voices from the field - Gayane Sahakyan, the executive secretary of the Armenian NITAG


    Armenia faced the global shortage of DTP. How did the NITAG deal with this situation? 
    It was forecasted that Armenia will face the DTaP shortage beginning in September 2015. Due to the global shortage Armenia was not able to ensure the necessary purchase of DTaP. For this reason, in March-April 2015, the Armenian NITAG began discussions on the safety of pentavalent (cellular DTP -Hib-HepB) vaccination for 18-month children. Following several rounds of discussion and using the evidence-based recommendations of the NITAG, the Ministry of Health released a statement introducing the pentavalent vaccine into the National Immunization Schedule as a 4th dose. Throughout these discussions, systematic literature reviews played an important role, particularly considering clinical research on safety of hexavalent vaccine as the safety of 5 or more doses of hepatitis B was a main concern for Ministry of Health and other health professionals.  My role in the decision involved attending the ESPID conference in May, 2015 to investigate scientific and evidence based information related to this topic. 

    The Armenian NITAG underwent a performance evaluation. Do you think the proposed recommendations are appropriate and feasible? 
    In Armenia every effort to evaluate particular areas related to immunization are very much appreciated as we understand that it will reveal the strengths and weaknesses and will ultimately contribute to our continued development. We agree with the assessment results and believe that the recommendations are realistic and achievable. No doubt, all recommendations will be useful for the overall improvement of the Armenian NITAG.

    In the evaluation report, it is recommended that the NITAG gain more recognition from national authorities to improve its integration and visibility within the decision-making system. What measures will you implement to accomplish this?
    I believe that we need to publish the NITAG meeting agendas and recommendations on the official website of the Ministry of Health with the intention to share information with all interested professionals and authorities. We plan to finalize the official page of the National Immunization Program, which has a headline on the NITAG activities. The Chair of the NITAG can also contribute to improving recognition by simply introducing herself as a Chair of NITAG during meetings with high level officials.


    Could you give one or two examples of the critical needs identified? Is there support available to help you solve them? 
    Development of evidence-based recommendations has always been a challenge for the Armenian NITAG due to the limited availability of information. Therefore, continued development and exchange of knowledge and experiences with other well-functioning NITAGs will contribute to the successful operation of the Armenian NITAG, as well as increase its reputation.

    Leer más
  • Chile

    Chile's NITAG documents the results of the committee's evaluation


    In this article, we describe the structure, functioning and work processes of Chile’s NITAG (CAVEI) and assess its functionality, quality of work processes and outputs, and integration of the committee into the Ministry of Health policy process using the Assessment tool for National Immunization Technical Advisory Groups.

    Leer más
  • NITAG training

    Read more on NITAG training in resource-constrained settings


    Antoinette Ba-Nguy and Adeel Shaah, ex-SIVAC staff and experienced NITAG trainers,  wrote an article on the NITAG trainings delivered through the Partnership for Influenza Vaccine Introduction (PIVI) program.

    Leer más