Looking into the Progress of EPI and Polio in Sudan: Review, Planning and Training
Sudan conducted a mid-year review and replanning exercise for the EPI and polio programme, as well as training on adverse events following immunization 23 July 2012 - The Expanded Programme of Immunization (EPI) department of the Federal Ministry of Health, in collaboration with WHO and UNICEF Sudan offices, conducted three back-to-back activities between 8 and 15 July 2012. Activities conducted were the EPI/polio review of the first 6 months of 2012 and re-planning for the next 6 months, training on micro-plans for the meningococcal A mass vaccination campaign and training the state staff on adverse events following immunization.
EPI/polio mid-year review and re-planning
The state EPI and acute flaccid paralysis (AFP) surveillance officers reviewed their achievements in the first 6 months of 2012.
The annualized routine vaccination of Penta3 and OPV3 reached 85% until the end of June 2012. This coverage rate has not reached the target set by the programme due to the inability of some areas to conduct activities. In particular, Darfur region could not conduct the usual acceleration vaccination campaigns in the first half of the year due to shortage of funds.
The group discussed contingency plans to implement the acceleration activities in the last quarter of 2012. WHO and the Ministry of Health will mobilize the needed resources. The group also reviewed the results of the two national immunization days (NIDs) rounds that were conducted in March and April 2012. Results showed a high coverage rates by administrative data (99%) and by independent monitoring (98%). Plans for the next six months include two additional NIDs rounds to be conducted in the last quarter. The AFP surveillance system maintained its certification standards in the first half of the year and it is expected to continue at that level until the end of the year.
Meningococcal A mass vaccination campaign
With support from the GAVI Alliance, Sudan is planning to conduct a mass vaccination campaign against meningitis due to meningococcal A bacteria. The campaign will be conducted in two phases. The first phase will take place in October 2012 and is targeting around 17 million persons from 1 to 29 years of age. The first round will be implemented in Darfur, Khartoum, Gezira, Sennar, Blue Nile, GedarIf and Kassala states. The state EPI teams from the targeted states were trained on how to formulate the micro-plans of their respective states using the federal guidelines. Micro-plans will be developed with full participation of the locality staff, related sectors and local partners at the later stage.
Adverse events following immunization (AEFI) training
A two-day AEFI training programme for state EPI/surveillance officers, paediatricians/physicians and pharmacists was conducted and covered the concepts of AEFI, investigation and analysis of data. The participants were also exposed to the concept of causality assessment, along with group work wherein participants solved hypothetical exercises. In addition, post test results showed improvement of participants’ knowledge on AEFI, as compared to the pre-test results.
By Haffiya Elyas, 30/07/2012