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Accessible metrics of access: Novel tools to measure immunization coverage in rural sub-Saharan Africa

Sciprofile linkRoss M. Boyce, Paul Delamater, Rabbison Muhindo, Michael Matte, Moses Ntaro, Robert Verity, Edgar Mulogo
Published: 17 September 2019
Gates Open Research , Volume 3; doi:10.12688/gatesopenres.13066.1

Abstract: Immunization rates in most sub-Saharan African countries fall far below stated targets. Measuring access in resource-limited settings, however, is challenging, especially with the data available at the district level, which is the primary administrative division for most immunization programs. Despite calls to improve routine data collection and use, there remains a lack of structured methods and practical tools to target underserved populations. Herein, we describe a prospective study that aims to develop, pilot, and validate a set of user-friendly tools to identify geographic areas with limited access to immunization services and by extension, low immunization coverage. The approach will leverage routinely-collected data from public health facilities combined with novel methods of household mapping to perform spatial analyses using open-access platforms. In addition, we will triangulate the analyses across datasets representing common reasons for care seeking – namely, visits for vaccination, antenatal care, and malaria – to improve the accuracy of our estimates. The ultimate goal of this project is to equip front-line providers and district level program managers with novel tools that facilitate timely and accurate analysis of routinely-collected data to guide immunization efforts.
Keywords: Africa / vaccination / structured / Novel Tools / Immunization Coverage / District Level / Routinely Collected

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