VoICE Immunization Evidence: Health Systems Strengthening

Key Concept

Key Evidence: The expertise and assets gained through efforts to eradicate polio at least partially explain the improvement between 2013 and 2015 in vaccination coverage of DPT3 in six out of ten “focus” countries of the Polio Eradication Endgame strategic plan. This includes substantial increases in vaccination rates in India, Nigeria, and Ethiopia, which, combined, reduced the number of children not fully vaccinated with DPT by 2 million in 2 years.

van den Ent MMVX, Mallya A, Sandhu H et al. 2017. Experiences and lessons from polio eradication in 10 focus countries of the polio endgame strategic plan. Journal of Infectious Diseases. 216 (suppl 1).

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Key Evidence: Tens of millions of volunteers, social mobilizers, and health workers have participated in the Global Polio Eradication Initiative. The program contributes to efforts to deliver other health benefits, including health systems strengthening. Polio eradication legacy efforts include documenting and applying the lessons learned from polio eradication and transitioning the capacities, assets, and processes of polio to other key health priorities.

Cochi, S.L., Hegg, L., Kaur, A., et al 2016. The Global Polio Eradication Initiative: progress, lessons learned, and polio legacy transition planning. Health Affairs. 35(2):277-83.

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Key Evidence: Efforts to eliminate measles — which has been called a public health “canary in the coalmine” since it’s a sign of weak health systems — can also serve to strengthen immunization programs as well as the broader health systems. These efforts include improving infection prevention and control practices in health care facilities, disease surveillance and outbreak detection systems, and countries’ ability to prepare for and respond to infectious disease outbreaks.

Hagan JE, Greiner A, Luvsanshavar UO et al. 2017. Use of diagonal approach of health system strengthening and measles elimination after a large nationwide outbreak in Mongolia. Emerging Infectious Diseases. 23.

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