The Sri Lankan Advisory Committee on Communicable Diseases (ACCD) meeting
The ACCD has been in existence since the 1960s, and serves as the country’s NITAG, issuing recommendations on vaccine-preventable diseases, as well as other communicable diseases. The Epidemiology Unit acts as the secretariat. The ACCD has standing committees on defined topics as well as short-term working groups which gather the evidence to inform the ACCD deliberations and decisions. Decisions are taken by ACCD but there is a process for wide consultation with stakeholders through the annual forum.
As part of establishing a collaboration with the committee, two representatives from SIVAC attended, as observers, the ACCD meeting in Colombo on December 4th. Meetings were held with the NITAG Chair and Secretariat to discuss the committee’s structure and function, and explore the possible ways that SIVAC could support the ACCD. Some of the possible activities that were discussed include a study tour to a developed NITAG and hosting other countries’ study tours. The committee Chair is a strong proponent of sharing experience and information regionally, and looks forward to the establishment of a regional network of NITAGs, which was a recommendation arising from a NITAG side meeting that took place in June 2015 at the South East Asia regional ITAG meeting.