Success in reducing vaccine-preventable mortality has been dramatic, but it cannot be taken for granted. Before they are exposed to disease, women and newborns must be reached by both potent vaccines and high-quality services in a timely, safe, effective, acceptable and affordable manner, enabling them to return to complete all their doses. In addition, coverage disparities continue within countries. To prevent outbreaks, consistently high coverage is needed everywhere, year after year. Increasingly, vaccination programs are aiming to reach the hard-to-reach and marginalized groups to improve access and equity.
MCHIP was dedicated to ensuring that every infant and woman of childbearing age in the developing world is fully immunized. Working with global, regional, national and sub-national partners, MCHIP:
- Provided practical, field-oriented, technical analysis and support;
- Shared information and best practices in the field of immunization with countries and partners; and
- Aimed to strengthen health systems by building local capacity to offer effective and sustainable vaccination services.
MCHIP provided technical support to routine immunization (RI) systems to sustain mortality reduction gains achieved through campaigns and to serve as a platform for effective introduction of new, lifesaving vaccines. Immunization program priorities included:
- Strengthening RI services at national and sub-national levels to identify and reach the underserved in selected countries. MCHIP works with countries to identify and prioritize under-immunized populations and operationalize the Reaching Every District (RED) approach.
- Providing technical support to countries as they prepare for the introduction of new, lifesaving vaccines. This includes assisting them with introduction plans, applications to the GAVI Alliance, preparations for and the phasing of vaccine introduction, and monitoring and post-introduction evaluation.
- Supporting vaccine-preventable disease interventions, including polio eradication and measles mortality reduction. Success in sustaining disease control or eradication requires matched efforts in RI—MCHIP’s niche. The Program provides technical support to leverage single-disease initiatives so that they can strengthen RI.
- Exploring how best to link immunization services with the delivery of other interventions and with shared program functions such as monitoring and evaluation.
- Assisting a number of countries in customizing strategies that build upon the existing immunization outreach platform to deliver multiple interventions at scale.
- Providing technical support based on field experience to global and regional partners to formulate immunization policies, design delivery strategies, and identify investment opportunities.
MCHIP worked closely with international organizations and links its country programming to important global and regional initiatives, such as the GAVI Alliance, WHO/UNICEF Global Immunization Vision and Strategy (GIVS), Decade of Vaccines, Global Vaccine Action Plan, Global Polio Eradication Initiative, Measles Initiative, and others.
- Significant contributions to global and regional policymaking and technical leadership and technical input at the global level to advance immunization programming. MCHIP contributed to global and regional policymaking and technical leadership through engagement in global policymaking processes.
- Advanced global program learning on immunization. MCHIP published many articles in peer reviewed journals, gave keynote presentations to global and regional immunization meetings and to professional associations, and contributed to global protocols and program learning.
- Assistance to 10 countries for new vaccine introduction. MCHIP provided technical assistance to DRC, India, Kenya, Malawi, Rwanda, Senegal, Tanzania, Timor-Leste, Uganda and Zimbabwe to apply for and introduce new vaccines.
- Exploration of the use of immunization as a platform for integration of other services. MCHIP collaborated with FHI to review and document efforts to integrate FP and immunization services. MCHIP and FHI co-authored the brief “Integration of Family Planning with Immunization Services,” which highlights the potential for linking FP messages and service delivery during vaccination contacts.
- Technical support for polio eradication. MCHIP provided focused technical assistance on the intersection of polio eradication, communication, and routine immunization at global, regional and country levels. In addition, MCHIP advised a multiagency expert group (led by UNICEF) on refining and implementing a standard set of polio communication indicators for tracking polio coverage and PEI goals. MCHIP focused on increasing identification and tracking of pregnant women and newborns-to begin vaccination with OPV0 3 at birth and strengthen routine OPV coverage and participation in supplementary immunization activities for children under 12 months.
- Technical assistance for epidemic H1N1 emergency response. Under core funding for avian influenza in 2009-2010, MCHIP recruited, briefed and seconded consultants to WHO/Geneva, WHO/Regional Office for Africa (AFRO) and WHO inter-country support teams in Africa for pandemic H1N1 vaccination preparedness and response; and contributed to a paper for USAID and the White House on operationalizing the response to pandemic H1N1 flu.