March 2021 Partner News Round-Up

A collection of campaign stories captured and curated by Linksbridge SPC

Featured Stories

Syria kicked off a five-day polio national immunization campaign on March 7, aiming to reach more than 2.8 million children under age 5. Approximately 9,000 health workers delivered vaccinations through 1,129 health centers and 2,315 mobile teams across the country. WHO

Nigeria’s Federal Capital Territory kicked off its 2021 Mass Administration of Medicine (MAM) campaign for onchocerciasis and lymphatic filariasis across six area councils in late March. The annual event, which this year plans to distribute ivermectin and albendazole tablets to 559 communities in the territory, was cancelled in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Nigerian Tribune


Outbreak Response

Egypt ran the second round of a nationwide anti-polio campaign March 28-31, targeting 16.7 million children under age 5. The first phase of the campaign, which took place February 28-March 5, reached 16,533,838 children. Egypt Today

Cameroon launched a cholera vaccination campaign on March 25 in its largest city and economic capital, Douala, targeting over 3 million people age 1 year and above in priority high-risk districts. Journal du Cameroun

Tajikistan completed a nationwide polio IPV catch-up campaign in February, achieving “high coverage among the remaining type 2-naive children” at a similar level to previous years. The country is also preparing for a supplemental immunization campaign using nOPV2. WHO

The Philippines extended its February monthlong measles, rubella, and oral polio vaccine supplemental immunization activity until March 7—aiming to reach 95% coverage in target regions. According to the press release, more than 800,000 children under age 5 remained unvaccinated as of March 1. Philippine Department of Health


Local Campaigns

Pakistan launched a five-day national polio vaccination campaign on March 29, going door-to-door to target 40 million children under age 5 with oral drops. Pakistan Polio Eradication Programme

Chad conducted an integrated anti-measles campaign from March 22-28—targeting 1,625,983 children age 9 months to 59 months in 13 provinces with the vaccine, alongside vitamin A capsules and mebendazole deworming tablets. WHO

Burundi launched a three-day catch-up polio vaccination campaign on March 17, aiming to immunize 675,962 children born between June 2016 and June 2018 (to reach those who were missed due to a global vaccine shortage). The campaign comes amid reports of polio cases in the eastern parts of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, which neighbor Burundi. Anadolu Agency

Zambia reached 70,000 people with the second dose of the oral cholera vaccine in Nsama district in Northern province—as part of a national effort to eradicate the disease in 20 high-risk districts. The country has also launched the campaign in Nchelenge district. Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation; Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation

Uganda ran a yellow fever vaccine campaign in Arua (in the country’s West Nile region) from March 23-24, reaching 2,300 people during the two day event. The Observer

A national measles vaccination campaign in New Zealand launched July 2020 is unlikely to meet its goal due to competing Covid-19 response priorities, local media reported. Only an estimated 6,500–7,500 people have received an MMR shot since the yearlong campaign began—just 3% of the targeted population of 230,000 people between age 15-30 who were not fully immunized as children RNZ; Otago Daily Times

Multiple Indian states launched mass drug administration (MDA) events in March against lymphatic filariasis, including Bidar district in Karnataka on March 15 and Mahasamund district in Chhattisgarh on March 22. Ministry of Health; Ministry of Health

Guyana expanded its ongoing anti-lymphatic filariasis mass drug administration (MDA) event to include regions one and five. The country launched the drive on February 12, aiming to be declared disease-free. Stabroek News

Nepal’s mass drug administration (MDA) drive against lymphatic filariasis has been postponed from March 13 to April 2 to accommodate the second phase of its Covid-19 immunization campaign. Public health authorities plan to launch the MDA program in the Baglung, Banke, Bara, Bardiya, Dang, Dhankuta, Jhapa, Kailali, Kapilvastu, Lamjung, Morang, and Parbat districts this year. The Kathmandu Post

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