Background

Improving the Effectiveness of an Integrated Measles and Meningitis A Immunization Campaign

Collaborative planning of an integrated campaign in a context of multiple epidemics

Background

Over 2 million residents live in Kakan; this region has faced many health problems and epidemics.

This study was conducted by Fondation Santé & Développement Durable (FOSAD) and Centre d’Excellence de Formation et Recherche sur les Maladies Prioritaires en Guinée (CEFORPAG) in Guinea, at the national level and in the Kankan region. The aim was to examine the feasibility of an integrated vaccination campaign for meningitis A and measles in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic and other epidemics in the country. 

Context

Problems and Opportunities

Located in the ‘meningitis belt’ of West Africa, Guinea experiences recurring epidemics of meningitis A and measles. These diseases overlap in high-risk areas, and children aged 13 to 24 months are targeted for vaccination with both MenAfrivac (MenA) and MEAS2. However, in 2021, vaccination campaigns for these diseases were postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic and epidemics of Ebola, Marburg, Lassa, and yellow fever. This presented an opportunity for exploring campaign integration to increase efficiency and effectiveness of campaigns in delivering lifesaving interventions to the population. Guinea’s Expanded Program of Immunization (EPI) sought to prevent recurrent and seasonal epidemics of meningitis and measles by using a single, integrated campaign to reach the same target population.

Objectives

  • Identify challenges and opportunities related to collaborative micro-planning for the MenA-MEAS2 integrated campaign.
  • Assess the feasibility of and identify factors (enablers and barriers) related to the integration of MenA-MEAS2 in a pandemic/epidemic context.
  • Determine levels of acceptability and involvement of the community in the planned implementation of the integrated campaign.

Guinea is part of the ‘meningitis belt’ of West Africa with a recurring need to control epidemics.