May 2023: Partner News Round-Up

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Afghanistan and Pakistan launched synchronized subnational campaigns against polio on May 15. Both countries had detected genetically linked wild poliovirus in sewage samples, and Afghanistan recently reported a polio-related death. In Afghanistan, a four-day campaign took place in 23 of the country’s 34 provinces, targeting 6.4 million children. In Pakistan, a two-phase door-to-door campaign enlisted approximately 100,000 health workers as it targeted 23 million children under age 5. The first phase (May 15-19) tackled districts in Punjab, Baluchistan and Sindh, while the second phase focused on 22 districts in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (May 22-26), followed by parts of Southern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Quetta (May 29-June 5). UrduPoint; ANI; Xinhua; PPEP

Ecuador will run a nationwide vaccination campaign against polio, measles and rubella May 2-July 9, targeting 3.7 million children ages 1 to 12. The multiphase campaign aims to raise vaccination levels across the country: according to PAHO, polio and measles are at risk of resurging. In the first phase (May 2-June 3), vaccinations will take place in schools, daycare centers and health centers, while a second phase scheduled for June 4-30 will continue immunization in health centers as well as send teams to visit neighborhoods and to immunize children who missed a dose. More than 80,000 people will administer the campaign, including healthcare workers and participants from other institutions and universities. Vaccination teams will visit 15,900 educational units and more than 6,000 child development centers. Time News; PAHO; El Universo (1); El Universo (2)

Outbreak Response

Nigeria kicked off a nationwide campaign against polio in May, targeting 7.2 million children under age 5. Several cases of circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus type 2 have been reported in 2023, including two in May in Zamfara and Sokoto states. In Zamfara alone, the campaign aimed to reach 1,559,000 children using the novel oral polio vaccine type 2 for children under age 5 and fractional IPV doses for children 6 months to 5 years. In Katsina state, the campaign aimed to reach 2.9 million children in two phases (based on local government area) throughout late May. WHO AFRO; The Sun; Nigerian Tribune; This Day

Zimbabwe carried out the third round of a vaccination campaign against polio May 23-26, targeting over 800,000 children under age 5 with oral polio drops. The third phase was added to the campaign—originally slated for two phases—in response to outbreaks in Malawi and Mozambique. In Harare, the door-to-door effort employed 507 teams and hoped to reach at least 95% of the estimated 325,851 children under 5 in the city. Mbaretimes (1); Mbaretimes (2); AllAfrica

Niger’s Zinder region ran a reactive campaign against meningitis May 17-25, targeting 380,000 people. The campaign is in response to over a thousand cases in the country as well as an outbreak in neighboring Nigeria’s border state of Jigawa. As of late May, Niger has recorded 102 meningitis-related fatalities—84 of them in Zinder. Reactive vaccination campaigns conducted in several Zinder health districts (Dungass, Gouré, Mirriah and Matamèye) achieved coverage of 99.8%. Medafrica; WHO

Lesotho’s outbreak response against measles resumed May 2 following a brief suspension caused by a temporary vaccine shortage. The campaign—originally slated to run April 17-21—targeted 114,000 children under age 10 amid a South African outbreak and four cases in Lesotho’s Maseru district. Taking place in public clinics, the campaign is integrated with polio, albendazole deworming tablets and vitamin A. Gavi; Informative; Maseru MoH

DRC’s North Kivu province started a vaccination campaign against polio and measles on May 20, targeting 87,578 children ages 6 months to 5 years. The weeklong effort, which takes place in fixed posts as well as door to door, is a response to a “particularly virulent” measles epidemic affecting close to 19,437 residents in 2023. Voice of Nigeria; ReliefWeb

Brazil’s Acre state launched a vaccination campaign against polio at the end of May, targeting about 8,000 children under age 5. The 10-day campaign, ending June 3, is in response to a positive case in neighboring Peru and to declining coverage rates since the Covid-19 pandemic. Brazil has not seen any polio cases since 1989. O Rio Branco; Globo

Gambia ran a nationwide outbreak response vaccination campaign against measles and rubella May 23-27, targeting children ages 9 months to 5 years. The campaign is integrated with vitamin A for those ages 6 months to 5 years and with deworming tablets for ages 1 to 5. Additionally, routine vaccines were offered to children under 5. The effort, a response to laboratory-confirmed cases around the country, aims to strengthen coverage across the targeted districts. The Point; Voice Gambia

Integrated Campaigns

The Philippines will carry out a nationwide supplemental immunization activity (SIA) campaign—dubbed “Chikiting Ligtas”—against measles, rubella, and polio through the end of May, targeting 11 million children under age 5 against polio and vaccinating at least 9.5 million ages 9 months to 5 years against measles and rubella. The monthlong door-to-door campaign seeks to increase coverage rates and curb measles infections. The Philippines has reported a 541% increase in measles and rubella cases in the first two months of 2023, according to BusinessMirror. GMA News; BusinessMirror; Philippine Information Agency

Malawi ran an integrated nationwide SIA campaign against measles, rubella, polio and typhoid May 15-21, targeting over 9 million children. The measles-rubella and polio vaccines were aimed at younger children ages 9 months to 5 years, while the typhoid shot reached children ages 9 months to 14 years. The weeklong campaign—integrated with vitamin A supplements for those under age 5—was administered in health facilities and via mobile outreach teams, with an emphasis on underserved and hard-to-reach populations. After the campaign, the government will introduce TCV into the routine immunization schedule: 9-month-old children will receive the shot alongside the first dose of a measles-containing vaccine. Malawi’s health ministry will later run a mop-up campaign targeting children who missed the May exercise. Bollyinside; News Ghana; VOA News; Capitalfm; Nthanda Times; Nyasa Times

South Sudan’s Eastern Equatoria state launched an integrated follow-up vaccination campaign against measles on April 26, targeting 316,000 children ages 6 months to 5 years. The weeklong campaign—which took place in vaccination centers—came in response to a measles outbreak in the country. The effort was integrated with vitamin A supplements and deworming tablets, and children below 6 months were also offered routine vaccinations. Radio Tamazuj

Guyana ran a multi-antigen vaccination campaign in May targeting HPV, yellow fever, hepatitis B, Covid-19, measles, mumps, rubella, tetanus and other pathogens. The national effort took place in fixed posts, including vaccination centers, health centers and stores. Last year, the country made HPV vaccines available to women up to age 45 in a move to curb cervical cancer-related deaths, a leading cause of death in Guyanese women. Guyana Chronicle

Local Campaigns

Brazil’s Minas Gerais state extended a vaccination campaign against meningitis through July 30 due to low coverage and heightened demand for the vaccine. The campaign was slated to end in April. The Minas region has reportedly experienced three deaths due to meningitis in 2023. Estado de Minas

Thailand started a nationwide vaccination campaign against Covid-19 and influenza in early May. The new annual campaign prioritizes high-risk groups, including older people, children, those with underlying health conditions and those who risk infection due to their occupations. Pattaya Mail

Venezuela’s capital of Caracas launched an integrated vaccination campaign in its metropolitan area against Covid-19, diphtheria, meningitis, measles, mumps, rubella, polio, tetanus, whooping cough and yellow fever. The campaign, which kicked off May 17, will take place in 23 fixed posts. Euro Es Euro

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