Online Program

Role of GIS Mapping in Improving Quality of Immunization Program Delivery

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Lee Losey, B.A., M.A., M.Phil, MPH, CORE Group Polio Project and CRS, Chicago, IL
Frank Conlon, MSc, CORE Group Polio Project in USA, Washington DC
Christopher Bessey, Country Management Team, Catholic Relief Services, Abuja, FCT, Nigeria
Nigeria’s Routine Immunization (RI) and Polio eradication programs have faced multiple challenges as they developed over the years. Some of the major challenges are the identification of settlements, mapping these settlements and also ensuring that key demographic characteristics of these settlements are captured in a manner that can be used for large-scale program planning and implementation. In addition, other challenges include how to monitor vaccination teams on a large scale and ensure accountability and standardization of implementation to ensure quality.

These challenges led to the Nigeria Polio program adopting the use of Global Information Systems (GIS) to map settlements, document and track changes in the demographics (e.g. large scale population migration of internally displaced persons) and to also track vaccination teams who carry smartphones that are linked to the settlements that have already been  geo-coded using GIS. Using the GIS, geo-coded settlements are monitored on a regular basis and key trends mapped and documented. For example, Core Group Partners Project (CGPP) works with the national Polio emergency operations center (EOC) to track vaccinators in the field and determine how much of these settlement are covered by vaccination teams during immunization campaigns thereby determining team performance. This ensures accountability, standardization and quality assurance as well as ease of implementation. Also, GIS is used to show the migration of IDPs from insurgency-prone areas in Northeast Nigeria where Boko Haram is on rampage. All IDP camps in Nigeria have been mapped and geo-coded using GIS. And with this information, vaccination and other public health interventions are targeted towards populations including IDPs.

The GIS is currently also used to map the areas with Wild Polio Virus (WPV) and Circulating Vaccine Derived Polio Virus (cVDPV) thus allowing the use of GIS to strengthen surveillance and epidemiology of the polio virus.

Learning Areas:

Communication and informatics
Program planning

Learning Objectives:
Explain the use of GIS in the delivery of immunization services

Keyword(s): Geographic Information Systems (GIS), Immunizations

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the Secretariat Director of CORE Group Partners project, a USAID-funded immunization program in Nigeria focusing on Polio eradication and Routine immunization. In this position, I am responsible for managing the country program and providing technical leadership and capacity-building to NGOs and partners in the CORE Group consortium. As a member of the Nigeria polio emergency operations center (EOC), I also contribute to the EOC's overall technical leadership of Nigeria's polio eradication effort.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.