Attaining and maintaining highly sensitive Acute Flaccid Paralysis (AFP) surveillance and increasing routine immunization (RI) coverage at all levels of governance are important national health priorities and critical components of the Polio Eradication and Endgame Strategic Plan 2013-2018. The U.S. Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC) Global Immunization Division (GID), the Nigeria Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training Program (FELTP), and Nigeria’s National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) established a collaboration to synergize in-country efforts and promote local solutions. This strategy engages FELTP fellows to:
1) Boost the effectiveness and quality of AFP surveillance at the local government area (LGA) level and among underserved populations, with a focus on internally displaced populations (IDP);
2) Assess RI coverage at the LGA level;
3) Ensure that immunization data are recorded well and consistently; and 4) Contribute to the overall expansion of RI coverage.
These activities will be executed through participatory field projects, in collaboration with the states’ Ministry of Health and its partners.
Project implementation is taking place in high-risk, low-performing states, and will expand progressively to the rest of the country at a later date. Criteria for state prioritization are:
- Presence of LGAs with weak routine AFP surveillance performance indicators
- High risk for poliovirus circulation (wild or vaccine-derived)
- High risk of poliovirus infection because of proximity to states with recent outbreaks
- Presence of LGAs with weak AFP surveillance performance indicators, as indicated during the national peer review exercises
- Low RI coverage rates
- Formal IDPs camps or settlement hosting IDPs
- Current presence of FELTP fellows
The States selected based on the above criteria for this this project were: Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Jigawa, Kaduna, Katsina, Sokoto, Yobe, Kano, Adamawa and Zamfara.
The two major focus areas of the project are:
- Strengthen AFP surveillance in high-risk states/LGAs and in IDP camps
- Strengthen RI coverage in high-risk states/LGAs and in IDPs camps