Countdown has launched a new partnership with Gavi, UNICEF and the World Health Organization to strengthen analytical capacity to measure coverage and equity of immunization and to improve the reporting of this data, using multiple data sources. This will include measurement of subnational coverage, in order to develop strategies to reach under-immunized populations.
The project will take place in 25 sub-Saharan African countries in 2024-2025. Participating countries include Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Cote d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea, Kenya, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. From December 2023 through April 2024, virtual and in-person workshops will be held to facilitate teams, support and advance analyses, and produce analytical reports.
Immunization remains one the most cost-effective and safest method to curb the spread of communicable diseases and reduce neonatal and child morbidity and mortality. Beyond conferring protection against preventable diseases, vaccination facilitates contact between families and health systems, providing a conduit for the delivery of other basic health services.
However, disparities in vaccine coverage and childhood mortality continue to persist. In 2021, globally approximately 25 million children did not receive basic vaccinations. The sub-Saharan African region has the highest under-five mortality rate, and basic childhood vaccination coverage remains low in many countries. Statistics from the Immunization Agenda 2030 Scorecard depict lingering gaps in immunization coverage in the Eastern and Southern African and West and Central African regions from 2019 to 2022.