Online Program

Cross Border Initiative for Polio Eradication in Horn of Africa

Tuesday, November 3, 2015 : 8:56 a.m. - 9:09 a.m.

Bal Bhui, Horn of Africa Regional Secretariat, CORE Group Polio Project (CGPP), Nairobi, Kenya
Anthony Kisanga, CORE Group Polio Project, CORE Group Polio Project (CGPP) South Sudan, Juba, South Sudan
Filimona Bisrat, CORE Group Polio Project Ethiopia, CORE Group Polio Project (CGPP), Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Mercy Lutukai, Regional Advisor- Monitoring& Evaluation Officer, CGPP HOA, CORE Group Polio Project HOA, CORE Group Polio Project (CGPP), Nairobi, Kenya
The paper describes a systematic process to institutionalize a cross border initiative for polio eradication covering Kenya, South Sudan, Ethiopia and Uganda. Numerous previous coordination and implementation efforts at the national level have failed.  This paper examines an improved model at the operational level in the form of an ‘Initiative’ to address overall Polio Eradication Issues as opposed to adhoc meetings for supplementary polio immunization activities (SIA). It ensures an informed decision and commitment and ownership by border district health offices with active participation of non-health actors such as border security, immigration offices and other stakeholders.

The CORE Group Polio Project used data on routine immunization coverage, supplementary immunization quality, AFP surveillance, demographics, and health facility capacity to plan, implement and evaluate the initiative.  The CORE Group secured the commitment of district health officials to initiate joint meetings, conduct border health assessments, joint action plans, plan implementation, reporting and monitoring and evaluation.

The preliminary results demonstrate positive results. In 8 counties in South Sudan, 2 counties in Kenya and 2 Woredas in Ethiopia cross border committees mapped border points and increased the number of children immunized during SIAs. Each party is implementing its plan of action and sharing information with others.

The process is in the formative stage and is being strengthened with new lessons learnt.  Some of the challenges include documenting program effectiveness and advocacy to local government and the national MOH for increased ownership and resource allocation. Reporting, monitoring and evaluation system capacity for the initiative should be strengthened for proper documentation and dissemination of results.

Learning Areas:

Administration, management, leadership
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Protection of the public in relation to communicable diseases including prevention or control
Public health or related public policy
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Design a cross border collaboration between operational border health units for polio eradication Describe an effectiveness of process of planning, implementing and monitoring and evaluation of cross border health interventions

Keyword(s): International Health, Partnerships

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a public health professional with 22 years of work experience in international health including the polio eradication initiative (PEI). I have worked on PEI alone for over 8 years and am now working for CORE Group Polio Project (CGPP) in Horn of Africa (HOA) region based in Kenya.I represent my organization to HoA Polio Eradication Coordination Committee lead by WHO in Nairobi that has charged my project to oversee the cross border initiative.
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.