Sanofi-aventis & EPIVAC
EPIVAC (from EPIdemiology & VACcinology) is a comprehensive, one-year, on-the-job professional training program in epidemiology, applied computing, vaccinology and management of health programs for public health officers in West Africa, culminating in an inter-university diploma in 'Organization and Management of Public Immunization Programs in Developing Countries' awarded by the universities of Cocody-Abidjan (Ivory Coast) and Paris-Dauphine (France). The program is a Sanofi Pasteur, the vaccines division of sanofi-aventis, contribution to the GAVI Alliance. Implemented by the Agence de Medecine Preventive, the program was developed in partnership with national governments of eligible countries and the participating universities, in collaboration with the WHO, UNICEF, the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and other partners working in Africa. EPIVAC is coordinated with the GAVI subregional working group and complements other GAVI support to African countries. EPIVAC seeks to strengthen the GAVI process within each country in coordination with the Interagency Coordinating Committee (ICC). The ICC assists in the selection of EPIVAC enrollees. EPIVAC not only utilizes classroom, on-the-job training, and distance learning, but also combines two subject matters that are usually taught separately: applied vaccinology and management sciences. Participants are trained while continuing to provide vital public health services to their communities. Studying on-the-job also enables learning to be put into practice immediately. The EPIVAC program monitors and evaluates the impact of training on immunization delivery and management in the district. Between 2002 and 2009, approximately 400 public health officers have been enrolled in EPIVAC training. Participants have been trained from Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Cote d'Ivoire, Central Africa, Guinea, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal and Togo. Sanofi Pasteur is also supporting the EPIVAC Network (REI), which aims to bring together the graduates of the EPIVAC program for best-practice sharing and continuous education in vaccination and logistics.