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Open Access Research article

Outcomes of polio eradication activities in Uttar Pradesh, India: the Social Mobilization Network (SM Net) and Core Group Polio Project (CGPP)

William M Weiss1*, MH Rahman1, Roma Solomon2, Vibha Singh3 and Dora Ward4

Author Affiliations

1 Department of International Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, 615 North Wolfe Street, Suite E8132, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA

2 CORE Group Polio Project - India, 45/201 Heritage City, MG Road, Gurgaon, India

3 CORE Group Polio Project - India, 106A/1, Gautam Nagar, New Delhi, India

4 CORE Group Polio Project, 151 Ellis Street, NE, Atlanta, GA 30303, USA

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BMC Infectious Diseases 2011, 11:117  doi:10.1186/1471-2334-11-117

Published: 10 May 2011

Abstract

Background

The primary strategy to interrupt transmission of wild poliovirus in India is to improve supplemental immunization activities and routine immunization coverage in priority districts with a focus on 107 high-risk blocks of western Uttar Pradesh and central Bihar. Villages or urban areas with a history of wild poliovirus transmission, or hard-to-reach or resistant populations are categorized as high-risk areas within blocks. The Social Mobilization Network (SM Net) was formed in Uttar Pradesh in 2003 to support polio eradication efforts through improved planning, implementation and monitoring of social mobilization activities in those high-risk areas. In this paper, we examine the vaccination outcomes in districts of SM Net where the CORE Group works.

Methods

We carried out a secondary data analysis of routine monitoring information collected by the SM Net and the Government of India. These data include information about vaccination outcomes in SM Net areas and non-SM Net areas within the districts where the CORE Group operates. Statistical analysis was used to compare, between SM Net and non-SM Net areas, vaccination outcomes considered sensitive to social mobilization efforts of the SM Net. We employed Generalized Estimating Equations (GEE) statistical method to account for Intra-cluster Correlation (ICC), and used 'Quasi-likelihood under the independence model criterion (QIC)' as the model selection method.

Results

Vaccination outcomes in SM Net areas were as high as or higher than in non-SM Net areas. There was considerable variation in vaccination outcomes between districts.

Conclusions

While not conclusive, the results suggest that the social mobilization efforts of the SM Net and the CORE Group are helping to increase vaccination levels in high-risk areas of Uttar Pradesh. Vaccination outcomes in CORE Group areas were equal or higher than in non-CORE, non-SM Net areas. This occurred even though SM Net areas are those with more community resistance to polio vaccination and/or are have harder-to-reach populations than non-SM Net areas. Other likely explanations for the relatively good vaccination performance in SM Net areas are not apparent.