CORE Group Polio Project

Donor: Core Group USAID.

Project Type: Development

Location: Warder, Danod, Daratole, Galadi, Bokh, Gode, Kalafo, Mustahil, and Fer-Fer.  

Project About: The current national potential health service coverage stands very low and the availability and quality of health service provision is generally poor, with significant regional disparities in access to basic health care service. The situation of Somali region is worst when it is compared to the other regions of Ethiopia due to pastoralist life style with lack of supporting policy, pastoral populations that move from place to place with their flocks, creating a challenge to provide health service for the population in general and for children and mothers to reach immunization services in particular.

The heath extension program is the flagship of the health delivery system in Ethiopia. The HEWs are the core of the HEP to work in collaboration with community health promoters. Community health promoters extend the reach of HEWs into communities, focus on improving household health practices by serving as role models, and negotiate with caretakers on doable actions.

The government recently designed a new approach to extend health promotion and disease prevention services through the Health Development Army (HDA). One individual, especially female, is responsible for taking care of five households to lead the momentum of utilizing existing services and can directly influence care-seeking practices at the household level.

Malaria, acute respiratory infections, and diarrheal disease remain the most common diseases in Ethiopia, the threat of vaccine-preventable diseases such as polio, Measles, and NNT is very significant. In August 2020, Africa declared its polio-free status, but the region is affected by repeated outbreaks of cVDPV. It needs more robust surveillance and outbreaks responses to maintain the gains achieved.

The project focuses on eradicating polio through mass vaccination campaigns (SIAs), strengthening immunization systems, and community-based surveillance.  The vast experience and geographic presence provide an excellent opportunity to synergise the detection and notification of priority zoonotic diseases.  In 2019, CGPP received additional funds to support Ethiopia’s health security program by integrating community-based surveillance for three priority zoonotic diseases – Anthrax, Rabies, and Brucellosis. In this connection, CORE Group Polio – Global Health Security (CGP-GHS) Project has been working on three VPDs and three PZDs to enhance community-based surveillance through one health and community-centered approach.

Based on the guideline provided by WHO, Ethiopia has adapted the four strategies to eradicate polio. These are achieving high routine immunization coverage, supplemental immunization activities, Acute Flaccid Paralysis (AFP) surveillance, and mop-up campaigns.

RATIONALE of the project.

Ethiopia is sustaining wild polio free status for the last more than six years. To sustain its polio-free status, communities play an important role in preventing, detecting, and responding to infectious diseases and disease threats. A community can help contain and control infectious disease threats, limiting the geographic spread, and saving lives. The CORE Group Polio Project builds upon its existing community-based polio and immunization programs to strengthen community capacities to prevent, detect, and respond to infectious disease threats.

OWDA believes in expanding and extending its vast community-level intervention to other national public health priorities. Hence, it integrates Priority Zoonotic Diseases (PZDs) into its existing Community-Based VPD Surveillance system that can contribute a lot to the national surveillance system, particularly in the hard to reach pastoralist and along the international borders of the countries. Moreover, the existing community-based intervention, such as newborn tracking for polio birth dose and immunization activities, will continue in this FY.

STRATEGIES: The community is key to outbreak and epidemic preparedness. CGP-GHS Project will build upon its existing, community-based polio and immunization programs to strengthen and expand existing community capacities to prevent, detect, and respond to infectious disease threats in Ethiopia. CGP-GHS project activities overlaid on as many of the CORE NGO programs in-country as feasible while playing a leading role in Community Based VPD Surveillance. There will be no stand-alone CGPP or GHS grants; all will be add-ons to existing NGO efforts. Recognizing that an effective ‘last-mile’ supply chain is crucial for a rapid, efficient response, the Global Health Security component under the CORE Group Polio Project and GHS programs will also collaborate with other USAID GHSA partners in Ethiopia.

BENEFICIARIES: OWDA is committed to implement the full component of polio eradication and PZD Surveillance activities in 134 Kebeles in 10 Woredas in Somali region. The project will target a total population of 1,243,909 in a duration of five year of which 658,025 are under fifteen 154,444 are under five, and 43,829 are under one; and years old.