Nigeria has made significant strides in eradicating Polio through the government's efforts and various partnerships. However, the country faces a new challenge with the circulating Variant Poliovirus type 2 (cVPV2) outbreak, which threatens to undo the progress made. The insecurity in the country also poses a significant challenge to routine polio outbreak response (OBR), making it difficult to reach populations in need of lifesaving Polio vaccines.

To address this, Georgetown Global Health Nigeria (GGHN) supports the state governments of Niger and Katsina with the Special Intervention for circulating Variant Poliovirus type 2 (cVPV2) project. The initiative aimed to deploy appropriate strategies to reach children in security-compromised settlements with polio vaccines and support the state government through planning, coordination, and technical assistance to implement the interventions across identified settlements. These communities are located in areas that are particularly difficult to reach due to insecurity caused by the activities of bandits and cattle rustlers, which poses a significant challenge to routine polio outbreak response.

Project Date: 2022 Donor: Bill and Melinda gates foundation Partners: SCIDaR, eHealth Africa

What we did

  • Continuously updated settlement lists to determine their accessibility status
  • Utilized community members as vaccinators to build trust
  • Involved traditional, religious, and community leaders in social mobilization efforts to increase participation
  • Enhanced security measures by involving local vigilantes and the military
  • Continuously validated and updated the master list of targeted settlements
  • Determined their accessibility status and identified the total number of households and eligible children
  • Consulted with relevant stakeholders through advocacy visits
  • Engaged community leaders and traditional birth attendants as social mobilizers
  • Built the capacity of traditional leaders to improve their understanding of polio and the importance of vaccination in preventing the disease
  • Recruited LGA focal coordinators and vaccination teams from the target communities and subsequently trained them for the work ahead to improve trust and ensure that the vaccinators could blend into their communities

Project Activities