Through a new partnership with Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, together with Last Mile Health, we’ve begun adding vaccination counseling and referral services to the package of services CHWs provide to communities. CHWs capture real-time data on the immunization status of every child in their community, refer when there are gaps, and work closely with the appropriate health facilities to target defaulters and close coverage gaps.
They also focus on messaging and behavior change to counter barriers to complete immunization coverage, including any lack of information about what vaccinations are needed and on what schedule, the actual process to get vaccinated, and managing side effects such as fevers. With a smaller group of CHWs, we are also exploring the best ways to drive greater demand for immunizations. Successful approaches will be rolled out across our network, enhancing access to immunization services for more than 8 million people by 2020.
In addition to supporting CHWs to extend immunization at the community level, we will also be serving as an advisor to governments on how to further scale community-based vaccination programs, roll out new vaccines such as one for human papillomavirus (HPV), the leading cause of cervical cancer, as well as shape immunization budgeting and strategy development. Learn More about our partnership with Gavi.
In my community in Uganda, childhood disease is a big problem. It is a problem I used to come face-to-face with every week at my church where I would continuously see child after child come in malnourished and sick. Witnessing this, I knew I had to do something, anything to help.