September 2022: Partner News Round-Up

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Zimbabwe began a mass vaccination drive against measles in early September, targeting over 6 million children ages 6 months to 15 years, with an emphasis on reaching faith leaders of religious sects that discourage immunization. Initial cases in the current outbreak—which began in late April and has killed over 700 children so far—were traced to large religious gatherings from an apostolic church that opposes vaccination. NYT; UNICEF

Nigeria’s Taraba state began a mass bed net distribution campaign in late August, aiming to distribute over 2 million insecticide-treated nets to control malaria. Nigeria accounted for 27% of malaria-related deaths globally in 2020. The Sun; WMP 2021

Outbreak Response

The Democratic Republic of the Congo declared the end of its latest Ebola outbreak—the country’s 15th since 1976—on September 27. Vaccination played a vital part in the response, with 51 direct contacts of the sole Ebola victim and 303 contacts of contacts immunized in a ring vaccination effort. The news came a week after Uganda’s September 20 declaration of an Ebola outbreak caused by Sudan virus; unlike the Zaire strain in DRC, there are no vaccines or treatments currently available for Ebola Sudan. ReliefWeb; WHO

Tanzania completed the third of four polio vaccination rounds September 1-4, aiming to reach 12,386,854 children under age 5 in all 31 regions and 195 districts of the country. Tanzania and other neighboring countries began vaccination campaigns this spring following the polio outbreak in Malawi. UNICEF; WHO Tanzania

Ghana rolled out the first round of a polio outbreak response campaign September 1-4, following confirmation of cVDPV2 from two acute flaccid paralysis cases in North Gonja and West Manprusi. The four-day effort targeted over 6 million children under age 5 across all 16 regions of the country with nOPV2 drops. The second round is scheduled for October 6-9. WHO Ghana

Afghanistan ran its eighth polio vaccination round of the year in September, targeting 9.9 million children under age 5 in a four-day effort. Six previous nationwide campaigns and one subnational campaign “have had a good result in controlling the circulation of the polio virus,” according to state media. Bakhtar News Agency

Afghanistan also started a subnational measles outbreak response campaign in September, vaccinating over 550,000 children in nine provinces, including children over 6 months old in Zabul province. UNICEF Afghanistan; Hasht-e Subh Daily

South Sudan began a reactive measles vaccination campaign in Juba county on September 5, targeting 37,390 children ages 6 months to 14 years at outreach centers, schools and health centers. The current outbreak began in mid-July and had registered 79 measles cases and no deaths (as of September 12). Reported routine immunization coverage for measles vaccine in Juba for the first half of the year is below 50%. WHO South Sudan

North Korea’s leader hinted that the country would begin a Covid-19 immunization effort in November. The isolated regime is one of only two countries in the world—the other is Eritrea—that has not started mass vaccination campaigns against the disease. VOA

Local Campaigns

Brazil began a nationwide anti-polio campaign on September 24, targeting 14.3 million children under age 5. Booster doses are also encouraged for children and adolescents under age 15. MercoPress

Nigeria’s Niger state conducted a statewide mosquito net distribution September 1-12, delivering 3.8 million insecticide-treated nets across 275 wards in the state’s 25 local government areas, in a door-to-door campaign. Punch

Pakistan’s Balochistan province began a 12-day anti-typhoid vaccination effort in September. The first phase aimed to reach 856,000 children ages 9 to 15 years in the 39 urban union councils of Quetta, with later phases expanding to the rest of the province. The Nation

Nigeria’s Osun state will conduct a measles vaccination drive October 6-11, targeting all children ages 9 months to under 5 years across 30 local governments and area councils. The campaign will be integrated with other primary healthcare services and routine immunization services. The Sun  

Samoa ran a nationwide vaccination campaign against typhoid September 5-30, aiming to reach people ages 9 months to 45 years. Samoa Global News

Fiji’s Northern Division began an MDA program rollout in September to treat and prevent lymphatic filariasis, scabies and intestinal worms. Health personnel and community health workers will visit homes, schools and selected workplaces to distribute tablets. FBC News

On September 8, WHO announced a $1.5 billion effort to eliminate outbreaks of bacterial meningitis across Africa by 2030, including the potential rollout of an unnamed “next generation” vaccine in 26 countries beginning next year. ABC News

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