Disease outbreaks can be associated with school closures, food insecurity, and health system disruptions

In a 2018 study, researchers describe the devastating and far-reaching impacts of the 2014 Ebola outbreak in West Africa, including more than half a million people experiencing food insecurity, school closures lasting more than 7 months, tens of thousands of children orphaned, and a huge proportion of the health workforce killed by the disease, leading to infant, maternal, and child deaths due to a lack of skilled health workers and a 97% reduction in surgical capacity.

The empowerment of women is associated with higher odds of childhood vaccinations

A systematic review of studies from countries in Africa and Southeast Asia investigated the relationship between a woman’s “agency” (defined as the woman’s ability to state her goals and to act upon them with motivation and purpose) and childhood immunizations in lower-income settings. The review found a general pattern among studies in which higher agency among mothers was associated with higher odds of childhood immunizations. Empowering women in these settings shows promise as a means to improve child health.

Vaccines are most cost-effective in low income countries

An analysis of the impact of rotavirus vaccine in 25 countries found that the rates of vaccination in all countries were highest and risk mortality lowest in the top two wealth quintile’s coverage. Countries differed in the relative inequities in these two underlying variables. Cost per DALYs averted in substantially greater in the higher quintiles. In all countries, the greatest potential vaccine benefit was in the poorest quintiles; however, reduced vaccination coverage lowered the projected vaccine benefit.