In 2001, the Global Pertussis Initiative was established as a scientific forum to analyze the status of pertussis globally and to evaluate various immunization strategies to improve disease control. Thirty-seven multidisciplinary experts from 17 countries participated.
The initiative was conducted in 3 stages: assessment of the international epidemiology, diagnosis, health and economic burden, and prevention and treatment of pertussis; evaluation and prioritization of 7 immunization strategies to address the problems; and identification of solutions to surmount potential barriers to the implementation of these strategies. A health-economic model, created for the Initiative, analyzed the cost-effectiveness of the selected immunization strategies. Discussion, debate, and consensus were facilitated via a roundtable meeting, teleconferences and use of a closed, interactive website, allowing the participants to share data, knowledge, experience, and opinion. This article describes the processes undertaken to conduct the Initiative.