We are pleased to announce the launch of the IMPT Advisory Council – a group tasked with providing strategic guidance for the IMPT network, with a particular emphasis on sustainability and new stakeholder engagement.
The formation of the Advisory Council comes on the cusp of a new era for the MPT field and the IMPT. In the early work of the IMPT, the focus was on facilitating collaborations to explore the technical feasibility of MPTs, while simultaneously building a robust case for their development. Today, the potential of MPTs is much closer to being realized, with over two dozen promising MPT product candidates in the development pipeline and several MPT products in clinical trials. Moreover, public health agencies such as the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the World Health Organization (WHO) have prioritized MPTs in their strategies.
But the work of the IMPT is not over yet – with the sustained support of innovative comprehensive sexual and reproductive health prevention options in question, having a close group of experts from across disciplines to guide the IMPT in future directions, as well as addressing everyday challenges to the MPT field remains critical.
Advisory Council members will serve as champions for MPTs and the IMPT, provide occasional introductions to potential funders and other supporters who may be able to advance the MPT field, as well as provide ad hoc guidance and consultation to the IMPT Secretariat. For example, while it is exciting to see increased prioritization for MPTs from the NIH, leveraging ongoing funding from USAID, current investment is not enough. A priority for the IMPT is expanding funding for the MPT field beyond U.S. government sources – including European and Canadian donors as well as private philanthropists. While there has long seemed to be interest and support in the MPT concept, the challenge faced by the IMPT is how to incentivize such funders to include MPTs in their funding mandates. Through stakeholder engagement, and enhancing field-wide efforts aimed at increased investment, Advisory Council members are helping both grow the field and ensure its sustainability.
We at IMPT Secretariat are honored to have such an esteemed cadre of Advisory Council members join us. With decades of experience in women’s sexual and reproductive health among them, as well as differing strengths and geographies, each person brings something unique to the group and the IMPT network. We look forward to working together to advance the field of MPTs.
Advisory Council members (in alphabetical order)
Ian Askew – World Health Organization – Switzerland
Elizabeth Bukusi – Kenya Medical Research Institute – Kenya
Claire Brindis – Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health – United States
Azziza Davis Goines – Sacramento Black Chamber of Commerce – United States
Monica Kerrigan – Jhpiego – United States
Chastain Mann – Mann Global Health – United States
Thesla Palanee – Wits Reproductive Health and HIV Institute – South Africa
Mary Pittman – Public Health Institute – United States
Helen Rees – Wits Reproductive Health and HIV Institute – South Africa
Jeannie Shoveller – University of British Columbia, School of Population & Public Health – Canada