Africa: Polio Outbreak Emergency Appeal Nos. MDR61004 (West & Central Africa), MDR64005 (East Africa), MDR63002 (Southern Africa) Operations Update No. 2
Period covered by this Ops Update no. 2, Focus on Togo: 27-29 March, 2009
Appeal target (current): this appeal has been provisionally increased to CHF 2,475,768 (USD 2.2m or EUR 1.7)
Appeal coverage: 42%
- This Emergency Appeal was initially launched on 7 April 2009 for CHF 2,432,933 to assist approximately 25 million children under 5 years of age in 14 countries affected by the polio outbreak for four months.
- Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF): CHF 357,842 was initially allocated from the Federation's DREF to support emergency response campaigns in March (Benin, Cote d'Ivoire, Ghana, and Mali) and April (Central African Republic and Democratic Republic of the Congo). CHF 235,888 was allocated from the Federation's DREF to support the emergency response campaign in April in Kenya.
- Global Measles & Polio Initiative: CHF 160,000 was initially allocated from the Health and Care Department's Global Measles & Polio Initiative to support activities in four countries during February and March (Cote d'Ivoire, Burkina Faso, Niger, and Togo).
- Operations Update (no. 1) issued 14 May 2009 added emergency campaigns in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone to the Appeal, and the budget was provisionally revised to CHF 2.4m.
- This Operations Update (no. 2) focuses specifically on the action in Togo carried out from 27-29 March 2009.
Summary: From 27 to 29 March 2009, the Togolese Government, working through the Ministry of Health and in cooperation with polio eradication partners, conducted the third round of the nationwide polio immunization campaign, as part of a synchronized campaign involving eight countries in the sub region: Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, and Togo. The campaign goals were to: immunize at least 95% of all children aged 0-59 months against polio, conduct active AFP screening at household level and disseminate information on good practices for child survival and development.
With a view to ensuring good vaccination coverage in the region where cases had been detected (the Savannah area), the Togolese Red Cross (CRT) mobilized 630 community volunteers, including local coaches, community firstaiders and HIV home-based care workers, members of the Mothers' Clubs and peer educators, to conduct social mobilization around the emergency campaign.
By using its volunteer network for social mobilization in the third round of the synchronized polio campaign, the CRT helped to reach an estimated 91,101 households out of an estimated 93,576 in the Savannah region (approximately 97.35%). These results were achieved despite the difficulties encountered, which included. challenges to access remote and disparate communities, and refusal of some parents to have their children immunized A particular challenge was the refusal of some parents to vaccinate their children against polio after the December 2008 integrated campaign, which included distribution of long lasting mosquito nets, resulted in some partners not receiving nets. These parents noted that they had not benefited from the net distribution and thus refused to comply with the polio immunization campaign.
The opportunity to partner with new stakeholders at both the national and international levels clearly helped to more effectively achieve the campaign goals and build the capacity of the national society. The remaining challenge in Togo today is to ensure continued support to the Ministry of Health in community-based surveillance of wild polio virus (WPV) and community mobilization to increase routine immunization in order to "get rid of polio in our country once and for all."