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 Ã¢â‚¬Å“community championsÃ¢â‚¬Â 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