New immunization approach in Ethiopia reaches more children

A new approach to routine immunization in the rural Afar region in north-eastern Ethiopia nearly quadrupled the numbers of children vaccinated against measles, diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, polio and other diseases in 2010 (from as low as 22% to nearly 80% coverage in the target area). The immunization activity used “community champions” to encourage nomadic, pastoral families to have their children vaccinated and introduced new approaches such as task shifting to improve service delivery to these hard-to-reach populations.

The Enhanced Routine Immunization Activity (ERIA) had already generated strong results among nomadic, pastoral families on a small scale in the neighbouring Somali region. With support from WHO and partners, health officials replicated the approach on a larger scale in Afar to reach more children. Read more