Initiatives’ Support to the USAID Malaria Vaccine Development Program (MVDP)

Initiatives has been supporting the USAID Malaria Vaccine Development Program (MVDP) since 2004 via task order contracts, first under the TASC2 Global Health indefinite quantity contract (IQC) from 2004 to 2009, and then under the TASC3 IQC mechanism from 2009 to 2014. The MVDP is devoted to developing vaccines to decrease illness and death due to malaria in endemic areas. The program works closely with academia, the commercial sector, the Department of Defense and other government agencies, and international organizations to fill gaps in the global malaria vaccine development effort by focusing on promising new technologies and developing vaccines that will protect residents in malaria-endemic areas.

Initiatives’ role under the MVDP has included:

  • Management support to program activities. Initiatives’ MVDP Senior Technical Advisor has provided guidance on the application of biotechnology to parasitic vaccine development, developed regulatory affairs plans and documents, and coordinated program activities with MVDP partners such as the Malaria Vaccine Initiative at PATH and the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
  • Coordination of the meetings of the USAID MVDP Scientific Consultant Group (SCG). The SCG is comprised of experts in the fields of vaccine development, infectious diseases, and pharmacology. The committee receives annual updates on the state of the MVDP-supported research and development projects and provides strategic advice to the MVDP based on these reports.
  • Provision of Legal and Business Advisors. These subject matter experts have assisted USAID in dealing with MVDP partners on issues involving intellectual property and licensing.
  • Coordination of a redesign and re-launch of the Federal Malaria Vaccine Coordinating Committee website. The FMVCC site went live in April 2010.
  • Toxicological studies of potential vaccine candidates. Initiatives negotiated and executed subcontracts to test the safety of potential vaccine candidates supported by the MVDP.
  • Funding of an online evaulation of the joint MVI/WHO decision-making framework (DMF). The DMF maps data and processes according to when they would be needed by countries, relative to the timeline for vaccine licensure.
  • Purchases of laboratory equipment and supplies for MVDP partner orgnizations. These materials have provided MVDP partners with updated and robust laboratory systems for the ongoing research and development efforts towards an efficacious malaria vaccine.
Spotlight on: Irene Biraro-Seguya, Human Resources Technical Advisor, USAID/SUSTAIN Project

Spotlight on: Irene Biraro-Seguya, Human Resources Technical Advisor, USAID/SUSTAIN Project

The USAID/SUSTAIN Project which began in June 2010, works to improve HIV/AIDS service delivery in 19 government hospitals. The project assists the MOH with the integration of HIV and AIDS services into the general health services at the hospitals. In her role as the Human Resources (HR) Technical Advisor, Irene Biraro-Seguya provides technical leadership for SUSTAIN’s HR interventions at the supported hospitals. Her work has included appraising the health workforce situation at SUSTAIN-supported facilities, enhancing human resource planning, assessing and implementing strategies to improve employee engagement and strengthening partnerships and coordinating with key stakeholders.

Ms. Biraro-Seguya also led the USAID/SUSTAIN projects’ Human Resource Performance Improvement (HRPI) activity. This sought to improve the hospitals’ HR management practices in utilizing quality improvement approaches to increase the uptake HIV of counseling and testing (HTC) services. This was done by strengthening staff role definition and providing clear task assignments, peer support and team-based feedback and information sharing on indicators, targets and progress.

The HRPI resulted in successes. Mubende and Fort Portal Regional Referral Hospitals (RRHs) improved their achievement of HTC targets from just over 50% to 100% or beyond in just five months. Overall, the HRPI demonstrated that integrating HR improvement strategies QI interventions can assist hospitals to reach performance targets. To read a summary report of the HRPI activities, click here and see Figure 4 below from the report.