Strengthening National and Regional Immunization Systems to Achieve Polio Eradication
Polio eradication and improving regional immunization is a top national priority. Towards achieving this goal, GEAG is implementing the Core Group Polio Project (CGPP) in Mau district of Uttar Pradesh since 2012 and in Sitapur district of Uttar Pradesh since 2017 with support of Catholic Relief Services. The project aims for an increased coverage of Routine Immunization (RI) for the children under five years of age. This project has been providing support and involving the local NGOs in strengthening the immunization system and building their capacities to make strategic planning, implementation and proper timely documentation of polio eradication programme in both the districts.
Following are the key activities:
- To improve the vaccination coverage under supplemental immunization system, meetings were held to develop effective coordination mechanisms between front-line health functionaries such as AWW, ASHA, ANM and CMCs.
- A Barber’s Initiative was undertaken to ensure greater involvement of men in the immunization process and motivation of their family members for timely immunization by bringing children to the immunization sessions.
- To promote good sanitation practices and behavioural changes in the community, Village Health Sanitation & Nutrition Committee Meetings were held once in every quarter. This resulted in increased toilet construction and use in the project area.
- Several other meetings including Influencer’s Meeting, Interpersonal Communication Sessions with caretakers and Group Meetings with Mothers, Fathers, Community, Adolescence etc. were held during the project work to improve the immunization system and ensure mother and child health.
Following are the major impacts of the project:
- RI coverage (coverage of zero polio, BCG and DPT) has increased in the districts
- Quality of mothers’ meeting has improved over the time
- Mothers’ meeting started taking place on a rotational basis in the community to increase the coverage of mothers in the entire project area
- RI became a priority of the government
- The review on RI indicators started taking place at the block, district and state level
- The logistics and supply issues that were major challenges started getting addressed
- The left out areas have been covered through additional RI camps
- The booth coverage has increased
- The data of booth coverage has been closely monitored and discussed in the CGPP review meetings held at state, district and block levels