Building a Community of Practice to Assist HepB Birth Dose Introduction in African Countries

HepB Birth Dose Introduction in the African Region Website Webinar Graphic

Building a Community of Practice to Assist HepB Birth Dose Introduction in African Countries

The Coalition for Global Hepatitis Elimination/TFGH (CGHE), in collaboration with the Global Immunization Division/CDC (GID) and WHO, has begun convening stakeholders in a community of practice toward the successful introduction and scale-up of birth dose of hepatitis B (HepB) vaccine for member states of the WHO African region (AFRO).

Year 1

From March- June 2021, meetings were held as on-line webinars or, as COVID-19 precautions permit, in a hybrid online-in person format. Participants included: CGHE, CDC, WHO, Gavi, country EPI managers, NITAG members or Secretariats, and hepatitis B researchers and technical assistance (TA) providers working in target countries that have not introduced the HepB birth dose vaccine* and also select countries that have already introduced the vaccine. Recordings, presentations, and summary reports for each of these meetings can be found below.

Year 2

To build on the success of Year 1 meetings, Year 2 is focused on reaching healthcare workers and expanding the audience for partners committed to advocating for implementation of HepB birth dose. To accomplish this, CGHE has partnered with the East African Hepatology ECHO hosted at St. Paul's Millennium Hospital in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Three sessions are planned from November 2021 to June 2022.

In addition, CGHE launched an initiative to support civil society organizations in raising the awareness of the importance of hepatitis B birth dose among policy makers, pregnant persons, and healthcare workers. Read more about the first seven organizations selected here.

Year 1

Objectives of these meetings include:

  • Develop a community of practice of practitioners to support African countries in the introduction of HepB birth dose vaccine
  • Present updates from WHO AFRO, Gavi and the US CDC on HepB birth dose progress in the region
  • Map the current and upcoming projects related to HepB birth dose underway by Ministry of Health, research and TA partners
  • Identify the needs and priorities of Ministries of Health, EPI programs, and NITAGs who wish to introduce HepB birth dose vaccine
  • Present a toolkit of resources to support NITAG in evidence generation in support of HepB birth dose vaccination recommendations
  • Identify opportunities to coordinate technical assistance and operational research to meet the priorities of Ministries of Health, EPI programs, and NITAGs for introduction of HepB birth dose vaccine

Meeting 1: The Current State of HepB Birth Dose Introduction Efforts (March 17-18, 2021) 

The initial meeting sets the stage for the series. Discussion topics will include the burden of HBV among children in the AFRO region, status of infant HepB vaccination beginning with a timely birth dose, triple (HIV, HBV, syphilis) elimination initiatives, and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic response on the routine infant immunization coverage. Research and technical partners will present on their current activities.  Discussion time will allow EPI managers, Hepatitis Focal Points, and other Ministry of Health representatives to connect with research and technical partners implementing projects in their countries.

Objectives met:

  • Present updates from WHO AFRO, Gavi and the US CDC on HepB birth dose progress in the region
  • Map the current and upcoming projects related to HepB birth dose underway by research and TA partners

Proposed speakers:

  • HepB birth dose researchers/ TA providers
  • WHO AFRO
  • WHO HQ
  • CGHE
  • Gavi

All participating researchers, and TA providers will be asked to provide brief updates on their program activities over the course of the meeting.

Expected outputs:

  • Profiles of MoH activities (intent to introduce) and key research and TA partners supporting introduction of HepB birth dose
  • Framework for key opportunities and challenges related to introduction and scale-up and maintenance of HepB birth dose

Click here to learn more about this meeting and download the resources

Meeting 2: Sharing country experiences (May 5, 2021)

This meeting will highlight countries in AFRO to discuss ongoing work in country programs and identify the TA, research, and information/resources needed to help countries introduce a birth dose of HepB vaccine and related HBV prevention strategies. The webinar will explore the utility of a Project ECHO (Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes) for EPI managers introducing and seeking to scale up HepB birth dose vaccination and related strategies. 

Objectives met:

  • Develop a community of practice of practitioners to share lessons learned in support of the introduction of HepB birth dose vaccine in African countries 
  • Identify the needs and priorities of Ministries of Health and EPI programs who wish to introduce HepB birth dose vaccine

Proposed speakers:

  • EPI managers or Hepatitis Focal Points

Expected outputs:

  • Case studies of ongoing efforts related to HepB birth dose in at least four countries (one each from: West Africa, Eastern Africa, Central Africa, and Southern Africa).
  • Identification of research and TA gaps and needs

Click here to learn more about this meeting and download the resources

Meeting 3: Toolkit for NITAGs to make a recommendation on HepB birth dose (June 17, 2021)

This meeting will highlight evidence and information that NITAGs need to develop appropriate recommendations for HepB birth dose introduction. NITAG or EPI representatives from countries in AFRO that have implemented a birth dose of HepB vaccine will present how they made their recommendations (i.e.- the Gambia, Senegal or Botswana). A toolkit or resource packet will be developed in advance and will be presented during this webinar.

Objectives met:

  • Identify the needs of NITAGs who wish to introduce HepB birth dose vaccine
  • Present a toolkit of resources to support NITAG in evidence generation in support of HepB birth dose vaccination recommendations

Proposed speakers:

  • NITAG members from AFRO countries with HepB birth dose
  • EPI managers
  • CGHE/TFGH Center for Vaccine Equity
  • US CDC- GID’s NITAG strengthening team
  • WHO AFRO/ NITAG Officer

Expected outputs:

  • Meeting report
  • Toolkit for NITAGs to support a recommendation to introduce HepB birth dose/ Resource packet (See example of HPV vaccine presentation from EURO- Steve Hadler)

Click here to learn more about this meeting and download the resources

Meeting 4: Developing a Road Map to Guide Next Steps for Advancing HepB Birth Dose Implementation (July 22, 2021)

This meeting wraps up the series and finalizes plans for additional technical assistance, including support to countries in writing Gavi applications to support HepB birth dose introduction. These follow-up plans may include a Project ECHO for EPI managers introducing and scaling up HepB birth dose vaccination and related strategies. The agenda will be flexible and will be developed as the webinar series progresses.

Objectives met:

  • Identify opportunities to coordinate technical assistance and operational research to meet the priorities of Ministries of Health, EPI programs, and NITAGs for introduction of HepB birth dose vaccine

 Expected outputs:

  • Roadmap to support introduction of HepB birth dose in target countries
  • Commitments from partners on future support of introduction of HepB birth dose
  • Launch of a HepB Birth Dose Introduction ECHO—explore if can add onto existing African hepatitis ECHO, could explore quarterly ECHO

*AFRO countries that have not introduced a birth dose: Burundi, , Burkina Faso, the Central African Republic,Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Congo, the Comoros, Eritrea, Eswatini, Ethiopia, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Liberia, Lesotho, Madagascar, Mali, Mozambique, Malawi, the Niger, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, South Sudan, Seychelles, Chad, Togo, United Republic of Tanzania, Uganda, South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe

Countries that have already introduced HepB birth dose that may be invited include: The Gambia, Namibia, Senegal, South Africa

Meeting format

  • Each webinar will be 1-2 days with 1 session per day, no session will last more than 3 hrs
  • Each webinar will have a rapporteur and meeting report
  • Simultaneous French translation will be provided.
  • Breakout rooms could be used for smaller discussions

Year 2

To continue to support African countries in the introduction of the hepatitis B birth dose (HepB BD) vaccine into their national vaccination programs, the Coalition for Global Hepatitis Elimination is expanding the community of practice of stakeholders sharing experiences and best practices that will facilitate the introduction of the HepB BD vaccine. In Year 2, the focus is on sensitizing healthcare workers on the importance of the HepB BD vaccine, need for timely administration soon after birth and best vaccine delivery strategies to ensure timeliness and increased coverage. The Coalition has partnered with  the sub-Saharan Africa Gastroenterology ECHO clinic which is a regional collaborative model providing medical education and care management that helps clinicians provide expert-level care to patients wherever they live. It uses video-conferencing technology to train, advise, and support primary care providers. Three ECHO training sessions will be held from November 2021 to June 2022.

ECHO Meeting 1: Saving Africa’s Future Generations Against Hepatitis B Virus Infection: The Hepatitis B Birth Dose Vaccine (November 23, 2021)

Key presentations included:

  • Hepatitis B birth dose vaccine | Dr. Michael Kariuki, Kenyatta National Hospital
    • Immunology
    • Efficacy and effectiveness in preventing HBV mother to child transmission
    • Need for timely administration
    • Heat stability of the vaccine and possibilities for outside cold chain use
  •   Case presentations | Mulat Nigus (Ethiopia) & Dr. Seadimo Gabakgore and Bonolo Phinius (Botswana)
    • HepB BD pilot vaccination in Ethiopia
    • HepB BD vaccination program in Botswana

Second ECHO Meeting | Saving Africa's Future Generations Against Hepatitis B Virus Infection: The Hepatitis B Birth Dose Vaccine (March 29, 2022)

Key presentations included:

  • HCW knowledge on hepatitis B birth dose in Africa | Brief case presentation, Dr. Henry Njuguna, CGHE
  • Country experiences implementing the birth dose vaccine: 
    • Nigeria, Dr. Uchechukwu Joel Okenwa, Enugu State Ministry of Health
    • Burkina Faso, Dr. Alice Nanelin Guingane, Hospitalier Universitaire de Bogodogo and Joseph Ki-Zerbo University

 

 

Last day updated 01 Nov 2022