On 22-23 March 2012, the Pan American Health Organization’s (PAHO) ProVac Initiative held an "experience sharing workshop" on the use of the CERVIVAC model (a ProVac tool for cost-effectiveness analysis of the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine and cervical cancer screening strategies), in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Eight country teams, comprised of EPI managers, cervical cancer programme managers, PAHO Immunization focal points, health economists and other professionals, participated in the meeting.
Country teams from Costa Rica, Ecuador, Nicaragua and Uruguay are initiating ProVac cost-effectiveness analysis (CEAs) on integrated approaches to prevent cervical cancer. Country teams from Argentina, Bolivia, Jamaica and Paraguay that have already commenced their studies presented preliminary conclusions from the data collection process and continued work on their analyses. Throughout the workshop, all countries present were able to share their experiences with the use of the model, and discuss and clarify any questions or uncertainties that have arisen with the tool.
The basic concepts of the CERVIVAC model were demonstrated as well as the different model components. Following the demonstration, each of the countries that were in the process of finalizing their studies shared their experience and lessons learned during the data gathering process. Country presentations were then followed by parallel working sessions. In the group of countries initiating studies participants discussed possible data sources and identified external sectors and actors to be consulted. In the other group, country teams revised their populated models and addressed methodological questions and challenges related to model inputs.
Presentations explained approaches for interpreting, contextualizing and presenting model results to decision-makers as well as giving participants a brief training on scenario analysis and explain why such secondary analysis was necessary for communicating robust and reliable results. A brief overview of the available evidence for key vaccine-related model parameters was also provided. Country teams finished by presenting the next steps and potential research questions to be addressed in scenario analysis. In the coming months, the ProVac Initiative will be accompanying each country team with technical support to finalize a technical report and present findings to National Immunization Technical Advisory Bodies (NITAGs) or relevant national authorities to support evidence-based decision-making around cervical cancer prevention and control policies. It is expected that each country team will draft a scientific article on their findings to contribute to the regional evidence base on HPV.
Published in Global Immunization Newsletter, March 2012.