Glèlè Ahanhanzo Y, Palenfo D, Saussier C, Gbèdonou P, Tonda A, Da Silva A, Aplogan A.
Bull Soc Pathol Exot. 2016 Apr 27. [Epub ahead of print]
Within the framework of its strategic goal of vaccine coverage (VC) improvement, Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance has entrusted the Agence de Médecine Préventive (agency for preventive medicine, AMP) with technical assistance services to Cameroon, Côte d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast), and Mauritania. This support was provided to selected priority districts (PDs) with the worst Penta3 coverage performances. In 2014, PDs benefited from technical and management capacities in vaccinology strengthening for district medical officers, supportive supervisions and technical assistance in health logistics, data management and quality. We analyzed the effects of the AMP technical assistance on the improvement of the cumulative Penta3 coverage, which is the key performance indicator of the expanded programm on immunization (EPI) performance.
We compared Penta3 coverage between PDs and other non-priority districts (NPDs), Penta3 coverage evolution within each PD, and the distribution of PDs and NPDs according to Penta3 coverage category between January and December 2014. Technical assistance had a positive effect on the EPI performance. Indeed Penta3 coverage progression was higher in PDs than in NPDs throughout the period. Besides, between January and December 2014, the Penta3 VC increased in 70%, 100% and 86% of DPs in Cameroon, Côte d'Ivoire and Mauritania, respectively. Furthermore, the increase in the number of PDs with a Penta3 coverage over 80% was higher in DPs than in NPDs: 20% versus 8% for Cameroon, 58% versus 29% for Côte d'Ivoire and 17% versus 8% for Mauritania. Despite positive and encouraging results, this technical assistance service can be improved and efforts are needed to ensure that all health districts have a VC above 80% for all EPI vaccines. The current challenge is for African countries to mobilize resources for maintaining the knowledge and benefits and scaling such interventions in the public health area.