Enter the Polio Emergency Operations Centers (EOCs)
The EOCs are a linchpin in Nigeria’s fight against polio. In 2012, we built the first of 8 EOCs, which act as command centers for decision-makers, partner organizations, and relevant stakeholders in the health sector to meet, review data, and take prompt actions to mount a coordinated response during emergency situations. They are a government-led initiative to improve information sharing and joint programming (planning, implementation, monitoring, and evaluation) for improved polio (now other public health) emergency management. eHA built and currently manages the National EOC in Nigeria’s capital, Abuja and seven state-level EOCs, located in Bauchi, Borno, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Sokoto, and Yobe.
Increasing Accuracy and Accountability through Tracking
Immunization Plus Days (IPDs) are supplementary immunization activities (SIAs) are mass campaigns created to complement routine immunization. All children under-5, some who may or may not be already immunized, receive two oral polio vaccine (OPV) doses during these campaigns to boost herd immunity. To increase the accountability of vaccinators during these campaigns the Vaccinator Tracking System (VTS) was introduced to support the efforts of the Nigerian government and partner agencies.
Under the Global Polio Eradication Programme, eHA mapped all 11 of Nigeria’s northern states in 2012. We collected geospatial data relating to points of interest including, settlements names and locations, as well as habitation status. Using this data, we supported states to develop accurate comprehensive maps and micro-plans for planning SIAs including IPDs. During each campaign, VTS uses Geographic Information Systems (GIS) technology to passively track, collect and store location data to identify missed or partially covered settlements. At the end of each day during the campaign, the data is downloaded, reviewed, and analyzed. Decision-makers identify challenges, take evidence-based actions, and ultimately improve vaccination geo-coverage in high-risk states. Since 2012, over 88% of states in Nigeria have used VTS to increase accountability during campaigns.