PARIS, January 12 /PRNewswire/ -- The French agency Agence de Médecine Préventive (AMP) announced today the appointment of Dr. Kamel Senouci as Program Director for the SIVAC (Supporting Independent Immunization and Vaccine Advisory Committees) initiative. This program aims at contributing to the development of national immunization technical advisory groups in six resource poor countries in Africa and six in Asia. These committees will help national health authorities to set up vaccination policy and programs adapted to their needs and to introduce new vaccines. The project, funded by a 10 million dollar grant from the Bill Melinda Gates Foundation, will be conducted in partnership with the International Vaccine Institute (Seoul, Korea), and in cooperation with the World Health Organization (WHO) and its regional and national offices.
Dr Senouci is a medical doctor and public health specialist who graduated in medicine, epidemiology and public health at the Universities of Lille and Paris (France), and in Health Policy, Planning, and Financing at the London School of Economics and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.
Dr Senouci worked within the French Ministry of Health, contributing to the implementation of new public health laws. Most recently he worked at WHO Lyon office (International Health Regulation) and at the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) in the Communicable Disease Unit.
Supporting the establishment and strengthening of national immunization technical advisory groups is one of WHO's priority said Dr Philippe Duclos,Senior Health Adviser - Immunization, Vaccines and Biologicals at WHO, Geneva. This is part of the process to ensure evidence-based decision-making at country level, which is particularly needed in view of the complexity of the immunization programs and cost of new vaccines.
Dr Senouci will take his position at AMP in Paris on December 1rst, 2008. He will oversee the entire initiative and have primary responsibility for its implementation in Africa while also overseeing the Asia activities implemented by IVI. He will report to Dr. Brad Gessner, SIVAC Principal Investigator (PI) AMP Scientific Director.
I am very happy to join AMP said Dr Senouci. This new task represents a real opportunity to fulfil a long-term public health mission, helping the least developed countries to design and implement their own vaccination strategies according to their specific needs and means. The expertise of National Vaccine Advisory Committees will be critical for sustainable progress to be made.
Target countries will be selected among those eligible for support from the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunizations, also known as GAVI. Selection criteria will include an assessment of existing capacity and strong local commitment. Both AMP and IVI will provide technical assistance and guidance for the establishment and functioning of the committees, supplying committees with on-site and distance training opportunities and standard decision-making protocols, and promoting sustainability.
The Agence de Médecine Préventive is a not-for-profit organization, with headquarters at the Institut Pasteur in Paris, and offices in Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire and Senegal. Its mission is to promote preventive medicine in the field of vaccinology and infectious diseases. AMP develops expertise and applied research in vaccinology and offers training in epidemiology and in management of public health programmes. AMP also organizes scientific and technical meetings, as well as dissemination of information on health and vaccinology. For more information, please contact Agence de Médecine Préventive: firstname.lastname@example.org and http://www.aamp.org
The International Vaccine Institute (IVI) is the world's only international organization devoted exclusively to developing and introducing new and improved vaccines to protect the world's poorest people, especially children in developing countries. An initiative of the United Nations Development Program and based in Seoul, IVI conducts research in Asia, Africa and Latin America on vaccines against diarrheal infections, bacterial meningitis, pneumonia, Japanese encephalitis and dengue fever. For more information, please visit http://www.ivi.int.
Philippe J. Stoeckel, Telephone number : +33(0)1-5386-8920, E-mail : email@example.com, Mobile phone : +33(0)6-09-69-57-90