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ARIA in the region: Immunisation and vaccine courses in Timor-Leste

Recently, the National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance (NCIRS) conducted the Foundational Course on Immunisation and Vaccines for 20 Timor-Leste National Immunization Technical Advisory Group (NITAG) and Ministry of Health staff members. 

Funded by World Health Organization Timor-Leste and the Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), the course, which was held in Dili, covered a wide range of topics, including: 

•    immunology 
•    vaccine development 
•    epidemiology of vaccine preventable diseases 
•    surveillance of vaccine preventable diseases 
•    vaccine coverage and effectiveness 
•    evidence to recommendation 
•    vaccine safety 
•    vaccine uptake and acceptance
•    functions and roles of NITAGs 
•    planning for evaluation 
•    adult learning and training.  
This in-country course was delivered by a team of NCIRS and University of Sydney experts and was developed with the aim of building local capacity in immunology and vaccines, and the intention that participants would teach components of the course to colleagues and other healthcare professionals in future. 

Overall, the session was deemed successful, with participants walking away equipped with knowledge of a variety of immunisation and vaccine topics. Learnings from the course will be incorporated into future NITAG strengthening activities.