Improving polio vaccination coverage in Nigeria through the use of geographic information system technology

J Infect Dis. 2014 Nov 1;210 Suppl 1:S102-10. doi: 10.1093/infdis/jiu010.


Background: Historically, microplanning for polio vaccination campaigns in Nigeria relied on inaccurate and incomplete hand-drawn maps, resulting in the exclusion of entire settlements and missed children. The goal of this work was to create accurate, coordinate-based maps for 8 polio-endemic states in northern Nigeria to improve microplanning and support tracking of vaccination teams, thereby enhancing coverage, supervision, and accountability.

Methods: Settlement features were identified in the target states, using high-resolution satellite imagery. Field teams collected names and geocoordinates for each settlement feature, with the help of local guides. Global position system (GPS) tracking of vaccination teams was conducted in selected areas and daily feedback provided to supervisors.

Results: Geographic information system (GIS)-based maps were created for 2238 wards in the 8 target states. The resulting microplans included all settlements and more-efficient team assignments, owing to the improved spatial reference. GPS tracking was conducted in 111 high-risk local government areas, resulting in improved team performance and the identification of missed/poorly covered settlements.

Conclusions: Accurate and complete maps are a necessary part of an effective polio microplan, and tracking vaccinators gives supervisors a tool to ensure that all settlements are visited.

Keywords: GIS; GPS; mapping; microplan; polio; tracking.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Geographic Information Systems*
  • Humans
  • Nigeria / epidemiology
  • Poliomyelitis / epidemiology
  • Poliomyelitis / prevention & control*
  • Poliovirus Vaccines / administration & dosage*
  • Vaccination* / statistics & numerical data


  • Poliovirus Vaccines