This dramatic increase is likely because of the still large number of Nigerian children that have not received doses of the Oral Polio Vaccine (OPV). According to a UNICEF report released in October 2012, “the proportion of vaccinated children [against polio] continues to rise, but progress is not uniform.” In his speech before the UN General Assembly in September, Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan recognized this fact, stating: “Despite our efforts, we have experienced periodic outbreaks due to persistence of the virus in localized areas where social and cultural constraints have resulted in some parents refusing to allow their children to be immunized.” In both cases, reference is being made to the country’s 12 northern most states where communities remain the most at risk. In these states vaccination teams have faced a variety of cultural, social, and logistical obstacles that have prevented them from reaching these states’ 10 million children (0 – 4 years).
PolioInfo is an information dissemination and monitoring system developed by UNICEF to track Polio vaccination efforts in the at-risk countries. In collaboration with the DevInfo Support Group, UNICEF developed PolioInfo Profiles, which give administrators and Public Health officials the ability to see, in near real-time, the areas that need resources and information services the most.
UNICEF Nigeria is spearheading an initiative to bring PolioInfo profiles into the country’s polio eradication planning efforts. Previously deployed in both India and Pakistan, PolioInfo profiles have been used by state and district level field staff to plan polio communications and monitor vaccination coverage. In Nigeria, these profiles have been adapted to help UNICEF identify clusters of missed children in “high risk” areas. After every IPD (Immunization Plus Day), data on vaccination coverage will be collected, tabulated, and then used to generate over 200 LGA level profiles and 11 state profiles. In turn, these profiles will be disseminated to UNICEF’s field staff, allowing them to adopt a data-driven approach to their work.
Data making a difference.
For more information, please contact the DevInfo Support Group at firstname.lastname@example.org.