African vaccination week as a vehicle for integrated health service delivery

BMC Health Serv Res. 2015 Sep 2:15:358. doi: 10.1186/s12913-015-0989-7.


Background: African Vaccination Week (AVW) is an initiative of the Member States of the African Region aimed at promoting vaccination and ensuring equity and access to its benefits. The initiative has proven to be particularly effective in reaching populations with limited access to regular health services as well as providing an opportunity to integrate other interventions with immunization services.

Methods: Using data available from the countries within the African Region, the effectiveness of AVW in creating awareness on vaccination as well as providing platform for integrated delivery of other interventions with immunization in the African Region were explored during the 2013 and 2014 campaigns of the AVW.

Results: Countries that participated in the two campaigns of AVW have integrated other interventions with immunization during the AVW. The most common integrated intervention is vitamin A supplementation, followed by deworming. However, other interventions integrated, include public health educational activities, supplementation with vitamins and minerals, provision of other health services as well as introduction of new interventions. In 2013, more than 7,500,000 doses of different vaccine antigens were delivered in17 countries. Vitamin A administered to children under 5 years and women in post-partum in 13 countries with 31,500,000 tablets distributed. Polio eradication campaigns reaching young children in ten countries with 36,711,984 doses of oral polio vaccines (OPV) was the third most common intervention added onto the AVW activities. Over 21,190,000 deworming tablets were distributed to children <5 years and pregnant women in 9 countries. With respect to nutritional interventions, 6,377,222 children were screened for malnutrition in 3 countries while 3,814,680 water, sanitation and hygiene kits were distributed in 3 countries. In 2014, these results were even higher as many more countries integrated multiple interventions in the AVW.

Conclusion: Integration of other interventions with immunization during AVW, in the African Region is common and has shown potentials for improving immunization coverage, as this dedicated period is used both for catch-up campaigns and periodic intensified routine immunization. While its impact may call for further examination, it is a potential platform for integrated delivery of health interventions to people with limited access to regular health service.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Africa
  • Anniversaries and Special Events*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Databases, Factual
  • Delivery of Health Care, Integrated*
  • Female
  • Health Promotion / methods*
  • Health Services
  • Humans
  • Immunization / statistics & numerical data*
  • Infant
  • Vaccination