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EPI LAMP delegates, program faculty, and consortium partners gather on Zoom to celebrate the graduation of the fourth cohort. Photo Global Health Leadership Initiative 

On May 17, 2021, 22 delegates from Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Somalia and Uganda graduated from the Expanded Program on Immunisation Leadership and Management Programme (EPI LAMP), a 9-month certificate programme offered by Yale’s Global Health Leadership Initiative (GHLI) in partnership with the University of Global Health Equity (UGHE) and PATH. These Ministry of Health officials from Gavi-eligible countries are the fourth cohort to graduate from the program, which has been adapted for fully virtual delivery in the context of COVID-19.

As the world continues to fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, leadership and management are essential. These alumni are prepared to maintain continuity of lifesaving routine immunization services and introduce the COVID-19 vaccine. During the virtual graduation ceremony, Dr. Sten Vermund, Dean of the Yale School of Public Health, highlighted, "We are building an immunization workforce that can integrate multiple types of data to identify and solve the complex problems that face us."

This graduation celebrates the resilience and commitment of the five delegations. In the opening remarks, Dr. Ranjana Kumar, Head of Health Systems Planning, Management and Performance at Gavi, highlighted the delegate’s achievements over the last 9 months: "You worked long hours in the middle of the pandemic, even as countries are so busy dealing with the pandemic. It was your thirst for knowledge and professional growth that kept you in this." 

EPI LAMP is an innovative management and leadership development experience for teams, in support of Gavi’s mission to ensure every child is protected with life-saving vaccines. Alumni emerge from the programme prepared to manage an increasingly complex EPI programme, with attention to efficient operations, robust performance management and improvement, and effective political engagement and advocacy.

During the last nine months, delegations completed leadership and management modules covering Strategic Problem Solving, Leading Effective Teams, Human Resource Management, Financial Management, Political Advocacy and Supply Chain Management. Delegations also received real-time coaching on their breakthrough projects to address a complex, adaptive challenge to improve immunization program performance.

Project focused on reaching nomadic populations in Somalia, improving data quality in Malawi, and increasing coverage of targeted vaccines in Uganda, Ghana and Kenya. Afua Asante Animwaa Twumasi, a member of the team from Ghana, highlighted, "Despite the challenges, we learnt a lot from this program. I personally will not forget our leadership module. For the first time, I learnt about followership in successful leadership and it is helping me now at work. Even though we've completed our breakthrough projects, it will always be on our minds and we will work hard to achieve the goals we set."

Highlights of the virtual celebration, which brought together family and friends of the graduates, Ministry of Health officials, and development partner representatives, included presentation of certificates and a live streaming performance by Angell Mutoni, a Rwandan Poet-Rapper and Singer-Songwriter. - Adeola Ayedun/Sten H. Vermund, MD, PhD, Yale School of Medicine


JUBA, Aug. 26 (Xinhua) -- Chinese medical doctors' presence in South Sudan over the past years has helped transform medical treatment, inspiring local doctors to interact with and learn a lot from them.

Pagan James, a 33-year-old medical intern studying for his master's degree in gynecology and obstetrics at the University of Juba, is grateful for having got in contact, particularly with the eighth batch of the Chinese medical team whom he hails for their versatility and professionalism.

"All the Chinese medical teams I have interacted with over the years are dedicated professional doctors. For me as a practicing gynecologist I have learnt a lot from them in the field, especially in wound care," he told Xinhua in Juba, capital of South Sudan, Thursday.

"In our assessment and clinical trials with them we found out that they are very good in wound care," said James. "I am still practicing on how they do wound care and 90 percent of the cases I have managed have been healed."

James said he and his colleagues doing internship under supervision of the Chinese doctors have learnt a lot in the medical field.

"I do post-follow up on the patients (women) that they operate on and some of these women have gone on to conceive. Our teams of practicing gynecologists always call the Chinese doctors to handle emergency cases," he said while referring to the hotline calls in the night. "They came and resuscitated a patient and she is still alive now, and still thanking us for what we did for her."

The first-ever CT scan introduced by the Chinese medical team has done wonders in improving treatment at the Juba Teaching Hospital, according to James.

Maker Isaac, director of Juba Teaching Hospital, said he is pleased to participate in the ongoing medical Chinese language course which not only helps him learn the Chinese language and culture but also improves existing relations between the two countries in the health sector.

Wu Huaiguo, a neurologist and the team leader of the Chinese medical team, said they have been handling various diseases and treating people with critical ailments since August last year, when the team arrived from Anhui province.

Wu, who recommends use of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) in South Sudan, said they have treated several South Sudanese patients with complicated illness using TCM.

"The cooperation between the South Sudanese and Chinese doctors is very cordial and represents a bright future for the two countries," said Wu, noting his team, including South Sudanese doctors, has earned respect from the patients they have treated over time. "The most remarkable thing I have witnessed during my stay in South Sudan is the respect given to doctors by patients."

The team leader disclosed that malaria disease remains the biggest problem in South Sudan as they have treated many patients with malaria.

"The only kind of disease we had seen in China is malaria but now we have eliminated malaria successfully. China is malaria-free now but here we have cured a lot of patients with malaria," said Wu.

Wang Lili, a 38-year-old gynecologist and obstetrician who supervises James, said her experience in China where she encountered cases of infertility among women has helped her share knowledge with her South Sudanese counterparts.

"Most of the infertility cases due to cervical cancer among women here we have encountered in China. We have met some patients here with cervical cancer in terminal stage and we have no solutions for them," said Wang.

Wang was on the team of Chinese women doctors who successfully operated on Lydia Ikisa, a South Sudanese woman who had suffered three miscarriages.

Ikisa was finally able to give birth to her seventh-born child this year after several years of nightmare. - Xinhua

Kenya's Minister for Health Mutahi Kagwe. Photo Ministry of Health


The Ministry of Health on Saturday announced that 1,286 people tested positive for COVID-19 from a sample size of 8,310 tested in the last 24 hours.

The positivity rate is 15.5 percent, with total confirmed infections rising to 228,363 and cumulative tests so far conducted are 2,305,988.

From the cases 1,264 are Kenyans while 22 are foreigners; 661 are females and 625 are males, while the youngest is a two-month-old infant and the oldest is 100 years.

The ministry also said 1,942 patients recovered from the disease with 1,766 from the Home-Based Isolation and Care program while 176 were discharged from various health facilities countrywide. Total recoveries stand at 211,781.

However, 32 patients succumbed to the coronavirus, all of them being late deaths reported after conducting facility record audits in April. - CGTN (With input from Ministry of Health-Kenya)

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