Objective: In order to measure hepatitis B coverage and progress in equality with respect to protection against hepatitis B in poverty-affected areas funded by the Global Alliance on Vaccine and Immunization project funded in poverty-affected counties.
Methods: We reviewed routinely reported coverage data and conducted a national stratified, validation, cross-sectional survey in October 2010, according to WHO recommended sampling method. First, we stratified China into three regions (Eastern, Central and Western) based on economic criteria. Second, in each region, we selected eight counties with a probability proportional to population size. Third, in each selected county, we selected (a) 10 townships at random among the list of townships of the county.
Results: We visited 244 townships as part of the final evaluation (71 in the East, 86 in the Center and 87 in the West). Overall, in these 244 townships, surveyed TBD coverage increased from 60% in 2002 to 91% in 2009 and surveyed three dose of hepatitis B vaccine coverage increased from 71% in 2002 to 93% in 2009. Overall, in the GAVI supported areas, the HepB3/DTP3 ratio increased from 57% in 2002 to 94% in 2009.
Conclusion: Pro-poor GAVI approach was an effective way to reduce inequity among children through provision of free vaccination. When vaccine and AD syringes were provided for free, they closed the gap between Eastern and Western regions and between the rich and the poor.
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