Archive for September 2008
Here’s an interesting idea from McKinsey – analysing decision maker networks to speed vaccine adoption.
Nearly 11 million children die every year due to a lack of vaccinations. McKinsey research suggests that network analysis, which companies use to improve business outcomes by analyzing information flows and personal relationships, could speed their adoption. Specifically, these techniques can shed light on the complicated processes and interactions that underpin (and often slow down) the introduction of vaccines.
The process of introducing vaccines varies from country to country and involves the influence of many stakeholders—ministries of health and finance, international agencies such as the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the World Health Organization (WHO), nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), community leaders, experts on disease, and funders, to name just some of the players. Defining roles, decision rights, and data requirements for this constellation of participants is difficult. The resulting confusion slows decision making and compounds chronic problems, such as poor infrastructure and limited public-health budgets. Delays, sometimes as long as 15 to 20 years, between the introduction of a vaccine in developed countries and its adoption in developing ones are the result.
Surveys were done on vaccine introductions in Egypt, Mauritania, Mexico, and Zambia. Only Mexico consulted international disease experts, which helped speed adoption of the vaccine. We found as well that in all four countries surveyed, finance representatives either had no role in the process of deciding whether and when to introduce vaccines or were peripheral to it—and usually brought in near its end.
The Global Health Council has released the theme for their 2009 conference to be held in Washington, DC: “New Technologies + Proven Strategies = Healthy Communities”. I’ve been helping them with development of their CFP over the summer months – the focus is largely on ICT, but there is consideration given to other technologies also. This is an applied conference with significant international representation. In terms of a broad global health meeting, this is the best I’ve attended.