Regional Immunization Technical Advisory Group (RITAG) and Immunization Stakeholders' Meeting, 11 - 14 June 2024

Regional Immunization Technical Advisory Group (RITAG) Meeting

Theme: Receive evidence-based advice from RITAG on strategies and tools to improve current Immunization performance and to control vaccine-preventable disease (VPD) outbreaks in the African region.


Date: 11-14 June 2024
Venue: Kigali, Rwanda​​​​​​​

OVERVIEW


The World Health Organization (WHO) African Regional Immunization Technical Advisory Group (RITAG) serves as the principal advisory group to WHO African regional Director for strategic guidance on overall regional policies and strategies for vaccines and Immunization. The mandate of RITAG is focused on an integrated, people-centered platform of disease prevention covering the control of vaccine-preventable diseases along the life-course spectrum through the context of health systems strengthening. RITAG works under the framework of WHO-adopted global andregional strategies ranging from vaccine research and development to delivery of routine Immunization services and linkages with other health interventions.

The first post-COVID-19 pandemic in-person meeting of RITAG took place at the WHO Regional Office for Africa (WHO/AFRO), in Brazzaville, Republic of Congo from 07 to 09 November 2023. During the meeting RITAG reviewed the progress, successes, and challenges of Immunization in the WHO African region, as well as the lessons learnt during the COVID-19 pandemic. The three-day meeting also provided an opportunity to reflect on current priorities, future direction, and key strategic shifts needed to get the region back on track towards achieving the Immunization Agenda 2030 (IA2030) goals and targets.

Following consultation with the Chair of RITAG, Professor Helen Rees, the next meeting of RITAG has been scheduled for Request for 11-14 June 2024 in Kigali, Rwanda. The planned RITAG meeting will provide a platform for in-depth discussions by leveraging the collective expertise and experiences of the RITAG members and set the stage for collaborative action towards advancing planned goals of Immunization and vaccine-preventable disease control within the region.

Download the complete concept note

OBJECTIVES


The main objective of this meeting is to receive evidence-based advice from RITAG on strategies and tools to improve current Immunization performance and to control vaccine-preventable disease (VPD) outbreaks in the African region.

The specific meeting objectives include:

  1. Review progress with implementation of 2023 RITAG meeting recommendations and reflect on emerging challenges and evolving contexts encountered in the past year and identify lessons learned.
  2. Present an update to RITAG on vaccine-preventable disease (VPD) control in the WHO African region and get an evidence-based assessment of the current situation and future directions.
  3. Share with RITAG the latest recommendations from the Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization (SAGE) for contextualization to the WHO African region.
  4. Share the current situation of yellow fever, measles, and Ebola control in the WHO African region and get evidence-based recommendations from RITAG for accelerating the control of these diseases in the region.
  5. Present the Regional Strategic Plan for Immunization 2025-2030 to RITAG members for their orientation and guidance, to achieve the Immunization Agenda 2030 (IA2030) and Addis Declaration on Immunization (ADI) milestones in the WHO African region.
  6. Present to RITAG the ongoing work on understanding the behavioural and social drivers of vaccine uptake and get evidence-based guidance from RITAG future directions of this work.
  7. Develop actionable recommendations to inform policy decisions, resource allocation, strategic partnerships, and knowledge exchange among key stakeholders for improved collective action to implementation of routine programme, introduction and rollout of new and under-utilized vaccines, and overall expansion of Immunization programmes at regional and national levels.

MEMBERS


Biography
Prof Helen Rees

Chair of RITAG
Executive Director
Wits Reproductive Health and HIV Institute
South Africa


Biography
Dr Deo Nshimirimana

Health Systems Strengthening Specialist
Former WHO Country Representative
Burundi

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Biography
Prof Nicaise Ndembi

Senior Advisor
Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention
 Ethiopia

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Biography
Dr Ombeva O. Malande 

Vaccinologist & Senior consultant (Paediatric Infectious Diseases)
Makerere University
Uganda

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Biography
Prof Ahuka Mundeke Steve

Professor of Microbiology
University of Kinshasa
Democratic Republic of Congo

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Biography
Prof Richard A. Adegbola

Research Professor & Consultant Nigeria Institute of Medical Research
Nigeria

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Biography
Prof Rudzani Muloiwa

Head of Department of Paediatrics and Child Health
University of Cape Town
South Africa

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Biography
Prof Sipho Dlamini

Associate Professor of Medicine
University of Cape Town
South Africa

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Biography
Prof Sultan Omar Maneno

Professor of Paediatrics, Infectious Diseases and Public Health
Tanzania

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Biography
Prof Dr Marceline Djuidje Ngounoue

Immunologist/Molecular Biologist
University of Yaoundé I
Cameroon

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Biography
Dr Edward Nicol

Senior Specialist Scientist
South African Medical Research Council
South Africa

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Biography
Dr Ijeoma Edoka

Health Economist
University of the Witwatersrand
South Africa

11 June 2024