WHO is soliciting proposals for nominations for vacancies on its Regional Technical Advisory Group (RTAG) on Immunization. Nominations are solicited from all countries of the Region and should be submitted no later than 31 March 2017. Nominations will then be reviewed by a RTAG membership selection panel, which will propose nominees to the WHO Regional Director offor the Eastern Mediterranean for appointment.
The RTAG is the technical committee to be established to provide advice to the WHO Regional Office on matters related to strengthening immunization programmes and achieving the regional target of elimination and control of vaccine preventable diseases. The RTAG will be formally established by the WHO Regional Director to whom the group will report or to delegated senior staff of the Department of Communicable Diseases Prevention and Control and the vaccine preventable diseases and immunization programme.
Members will be acknowledged experts in areas relevant to immunization programmes, serving in their own capacity and will not represent the interests of a particular group or stakeholder. Members will represent a broad range of disciplines encompassing aspects of immunization and vaccines (vaccinology, epidemiology, immunology, public health, pediatrics, family medicine, internal medicine, health economy, regulations, vaccine delivery, communication, etc.) and a range of affiliations (governmental, academia, private practice) and with collective expertise necessary to address the specific functions expected from the group. Consideration is given to ensuring appropriate gender balance and geographic representation of the Region.
The RTAG will act according to clear terms of reference and will not have any direct implementation role/responsibility.
Terms of reference
1) Monitor progress towards achieving the regional targets and identify any constraints, obstacles and threats or opportunities to their achievement.
2) Periodically review the epidemiological situation in the region and recommend appropriate goals/ targets, strategies and monitoring indicators.
3) Endorse the Regional strategic plan to accomplish the goals and targets and monitor its implementation;
4) Recommend suitable strategies, within the ambit of WHO recommendations/ guidelines, for sustaining high quality national immunization programmes in the Region.
5) Provide advice to the Regional Office on the appropriate choices of new vaccines and recommend suitable strategies and processes for their introduction and integration into the Expanded Programme on Immunization (EPI), including methods and indicators of monitoring impact of the new vaccines on the diseases concerned.
6) Promote and provide technical guidance for the implementation of high quality vaccine preventable diseases surveillance, including laboratory networks for surveillance.
7) Promote understanding for the programme targets and its active support by national immunization technical advisory groups (NITAGs), national governments, and political leaders and other stake holders/partners concerned with immunization and vaccine preventable disease control efforts.
8) Advise on matters of special importance for submission to the WHO Regional Committee.
9) Provide a forum for discussion on implementation of the Strategic Advisory Group of Experts (SAGE) on Immunization recommendations within the Regional context where appropriate.
10) Identify and advise on appropriate areas for operation research in the fields of immunization.