January 2023: Partner News Round-Up

Spotlight on MNTE Campaigns

The Maternal and Neonatal Tetanus Elimination initiative targets the 12 remaining endemic countries (Afghanistan, Angola, Central African Republic, Guinea, Mali, Nigeria, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan, Yemen) for tetanus elimination using tetanus toxoid-containing vaccine (TTCV) supplementary immunization activities (SIAs). TTCV SIAs updates for 2022 include:

  • CAR: Third round (originally scheduled for July) was postponed due to a polio campaign and response to yellow fever outbreak. The campaign was conducted in November/December, aiming to reach 1.7 million women of reproductive age (WRA).
  • Guinea Conakry: Third round conducted in 14 districts in January, reaching 1.27 million WRA; the coverage rate was 90%.
  • Nigeria: Third round conducted from December 2021 to February 2022 in NCZ and NWZ. First round conducted in NEZ in high-risk local government areas in September 2022, targeting 2.2 million WRA.
  • Pakistan: Targeted campaigns in 10 districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and KP tribal districts, aiming to reach 1.85 million WRA. The first- and second-round coverage rates were 84% and 77%, respectively.
  • South Sudan: Third round in 34 target areas in 10 states in June/July, aiming to reach 1.3 million WRA; the coverage rate was 82%.
  • Sudan: Mop-up rounds in 26 localities in six states, reaching 320,733 WRA; the coverage rate was 88%.
  • Yemen: Third round in six governorates in 47 districts in February, reaching 269,488 WRA; the coverage rate was 81%.

Looking ahead to 2023, there are plans to vaccinate 15 million women of reproductive age in TTCV SIAs during the year, with campaign rounds scheduled in Afghanistan, Angola, Nigeria, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Somalia, and Yemen.

Featured Stories

Afghanistan launched its first polio vaccination drive of the year on January 23. The four-day campaign aimed to reach more than 5.3 million children under age 5 in 16 provinces and in the capital, Kabul. A December 2022 decree from the Taliban-run government that bars women from working for NGOs is likely to impede campaign success: in the global fight to eradicate polio, women have historically played crucial roles in raising awareness and vaccinating children. In several southern provinces—including Zabul, Helmand and Uruzgan—the anti-polio campaign is being carried out with only male vaccinators. The ministry of public health, however, said that there was no ban on women working in healthcare services and that female volunteers can take part in the vaccination campaign.   Xinhua; Amu

Kenya and Uganda conducted a joint cross-border MDA against trachoma in January, reaching 5,000 Turkana pastoralists in the Napak and Moroto districts. During the 10-day exercise, health teams visited areas where the Turkana community had settled, such as Chokchok, Kobebe, Lopei, Losogol, Nadunget, Nakabaat, Nanyidik, and Naput, among others. Three additional MDA activities are scheduled for June, July, and the end of the year. Kenya News Agency

Outbreak Response

India’s West Bengal state launched a statewide vaccination campaign against measles-rubella on January 9, targeting 23 million children ages 9 months to 15 years. The five-week campaign began in schools (with the assistance of health department medical teams) before shifting to a community-level effort centering on children too young to attend school or those who have dropped out. The vaccination effort seeks to engage both private and public schools to achieve the national goal of eliminating measles-rubella by 2023. The Times of India; Telegraph India

Somalia began a single-dose OCV campaign on January 22, aiming to reach 995,886 children ages 1 year and older and pregnant women. During the five-day campaign, 1,328 outreach teams (each composed of two vaccinators, one social mobilizer, and one data entry person) will administer OCV drops house to house in the 10 districts most affected by the country’s drought: Afgoye, Baidoa, Daynile, Dharkenley, Hamar Jajab, Hodan, Jowhar, Kahda, Kismayo, and Marka. WHO Somalia

The Democratic Republic of the Congo began a reactive OCV drive on January 25 in 11 areas of the Nyiragongo health zone and one area of the Karisimbi health zone, targeting both IDPs and host communities. Although cholera is endemic in the North Kivu province, an upsurge in suspected cases above the epidemic threshold has been observed in the Nyiragongo and Karisimbi HZs, with an outbreak officially declared on December 14. WHO

Uganda conducted a catch-up polio vaccination effort January 20-30, targeting children under age 5 with a second immunization round in districts that had campaign delays due to last year’s Ebola outbreak: Kassanda, Mubende, Mukono, Kampala and Wakiso. The Kampala campaign will occur a bit later, from February 17 to 19. HealthCare Africa; Kampala Report

Integrated Campaigns

Pakistan ran a nationwide vaccination campaign against polio January 16-18, using more than 360,000 health workers to target at least 44 million children under 5. Children also received vitamin A supplements. A separate part of the campaign was held earlier—January 2-4—in seven polio-endemic districts of southern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, a district that saw 20 children paralyzed by wild poliovirus in 2022. Pakistan Polio Eradication Programme; VOA News

India’s Kanpur Nagar district conducted the first phase of an integrated vaccination effort January 9-20, aiming to reach all unvaccinated children under age 5. The multiphase campaign—with the second phase scheduled for February 13-24 and the third for March 13-24—will inoculate children against twelve vaccine-preventable diseases (such as hepatitis B, meningitis, pneumonia, polio, tetanus, tuberculosis, and whooping cough), according to the district immunization officer. Vaccinations will take place in the ASHA and Anganwadi worker vaccination centers. The Times of India

Iran began a vaccination drive against measles-rubella on December 31, targeting refugees and non-Iranian children ages 9 to 30 months; the campaign also included Covid-19 immunizations. As of January 15, over 235,000 foreign nationals have received the MR vaccine. The campaign is administering vaccines via Iran’s primary healthcare system in urban and rural areas. The country reported over 100 cases of measles in the first half of 2022. Tehran Times (1); Tehran Times (2)

Local Campaigns

Western Kenya kicked off a deworming campaign at the start of the year to combat high levels of intestinal worms and bilharzia. The campaign is targeting 6 million Kenyans in counties including Bungoma, Kakamega, Trans Nzoia and Vihiga, which have reported cases of intestinal worms attributed to poor sanitation and hygiene practices. The deworming effort—supported by the ministry of health—also includes behavior change communication to educate children and communities on good personal hygiene practices. NTV Kenya

The Netherlands began a catch-up HPV vaccination effort in late January for 900,000 men and 400,000 women ages 19-27. The campaign is coordinated by the country’s National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM). Archynewsy

Pakistan’s Islamabad Capital Territory ran an MDA campaign against soil-transmitted helminths January 9-13, aiming to reach 481,823 children ages 5-14 with deworming tablets. The campaign, open to all children in the territory, took place in public and private schools. Urdu Point; Dawn

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