IVI and Nepal

 

Nepal as a Member State

On May 30, 1997, Ambassador of Nepal to the United Nations, H.E. Narendra Bikram Shah signed the Establishment Agreement of the International Vaccine Institute at UN headquarters in New York.

Over 30 Nepalese health officials have received training in IVI’s Annual Vaccinology Course.

 

Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) Surveillance

In 2019, IVI initiated a program to study the prevalence of AMR in Nepal. The program, part of an IVI-led consortium known as CAPTURA, or Capturing Data on Antimicrobial Resistance Patterns and Trends in Use in Regions in Asia, works closely with the National Public Health Laboratory (NPHL) of Nepal and aims to increase the volume of data available to improve spatiotemporal mapping of AMR and antimicrobial use (AMU); assess the quality of data and provide meta-data to give regional and inter-regional context; undertake analysis of the data; and ensure findings are disseminated locally, regionally and globally. The project will identify gaps in data and areas for quality improvement that can be addressed in future initiatives to strengthen surveillance capacity. Finally, the information resource generated by the project will improve awareness, advocacy, policy, and interventions needed to combat AMR and antimicrobial misuse.

 

Typhoid Vaccination

IVI vaccination campaigns led to over 140,000 Nepalese school children receiving the Vi-PS typhoid vaccine. In collaboration with MITRA Samaj and with funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the 2011 vaccination campaigns introduced an innovative cross-subsidization financing system, in which a $2.50 user fee from workers in the tourism sector funded free vaccinations for school children in Lalitpur and Bakhtapur districts. More than 2,000 tourism sector workers were immunized, and the school-based campaign immunized 140,873 students in the two districts.

Case-control studies ran from 2012 to 2013 in Kathmandu to assess the impact of vaccination, and in 2012 the National Committee on Immunization Practices (NCIP) convened a seminar with IVI, local media, policymakers, and stakeholders in Kathmandu to share findings from the vaccination campaign and to discuss strategies on typhoid control. The meeting culminated in an endorsement by the Health Secretary on the use of typhoid vaccines and a commitment by the local government to expand the vaccination campaign to high-risk areas and groups in Kathmandu.

 

Cholera Vaccination

Using the IVI-developed Oral Cholera Vaccine, IVI conducted vaccination campaigns in Nepal against endemic and epidemic cholera. In response to the 2015 earthquake, IVI provided its cholera vaccine to 9,000 people in Dhading and Nuwakot, and a 2017 initiative saw 27,000 people in Banke receive IVI’s cholera vaccine.

 

Hepatitis E

IVI sponsored and supported a Hepatitis E Symposium in Kathmandu, Nepal that was organized by the Nepali government in November 2015. Following the massive earthquakes that struck Nepal earlier in the year, there were concerns about outbreaks of waterborne diseases such as cholera, typhoid, and hepatitis E. While cholera and typhoid were well-known, less was known about hepatitis E. The symposium aimed to present and share Hepatitis E data among local public health and medical professionals and government officials and to discuss how to prevent, control and manage the disease in Nepal. Topics such as Hepatitis E epidemiology and surveillance, diagnostics, clinical presentation and management, impact on pregnant women, and preventive measures and vaccination were presented.

 

Supporting Independent Immunization and Vaccine Advisory Committees (SIVAC)

The Government of Nepal signed an agreement with IVI for its SIVAC team to provide technical assistance to the country’s National Committee on Immunization practice (NCIP), which was established in 2008. Working with the WHO Nepal county office, the WHO Southeast Asia regional office (SEARO), and the US CDC, SIVAC assisted the NCIP in developing a concept paper for its charter. In 2013, SIVAC co-organized a study tour in Canberra, Australia for a delegation from Nepal to observe the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunization.

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