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Open Access Research article

Performance and determinants of routine immunization coverage within the context of intensive polio eradication activities in Uttar Pradesh, India: Social Mobilization Network (SM Net) and Core Group Polio Project (CGPP)

William M Weiss1*, Manojkumar Choudhary2 and Roma Solomon2

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, 303, Radisson Suites, Commercial Tower, B-Block, Sushant Lok-I, Gurgaon, Haryana, 122002, India

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BMC International Health and Human Rights 2013, 13:25  doi:10.1186/1472-698X-13-25

Published: 16 May 2013

Abstract

Background

Studies that have looked at the effect of polio eradication efforts in India on routine immunization programs have provided mixed findings. One polio eradication project, funded by US Agency for International Development (USAID) and carried out by the CORE Group Polio Project (CGPP) in the state of Uttar Pradesh of India, has included the strengthening of routine immunization systems as a core part of its polio eradication strategy. This paper explores the performance of routine immunization services in the CGPP intervention areas concurrent with intensive polio eradication activities. The paper also explores determinants of routine immunization performance such as caretaker characteristics and CGPP activities to strengthen routine immunization services.

Methods

We conduct secondary data analysis of the latest project household immunization survey in 2011 and compare these findings to reports of past surveys in the CGPP program area and at the Uttar Pradesh state level (as measured by children’s receipt of DPT vaccinations). This is done to judge if there is any evidence that routine immunization services are being disrupted. We also model characteristics of survey respondents and respondents’ exposure to CGPP, communication activities against their children’s receipt of key vaccinations in order to identify determinants of routine immunization coverage.

Results

Routine immunization coverage has increased between the first survey (2005 for state level estimates, 2008 for the CGPP program) and the latest (2011 for both state level and CGPP areas), as measured by children’s receipt of DPT vaccination. This increase occurred concurrent with polio eradication efforts intensive enough to result in interruption of transmission. In addition, a mothers’ exposure to specific communication materials, her religion and education were associated with whether or not her children receive one or more doses of DPT.

Conclusions

A limitation of the analysis is the absence of a controlled comparison. It is possible routine immunization coverage would have increased even more in the absence of polio eradication efforts. At the same time, however, there is no evidence that routine immunization services were disrupted by polio eradication efforts. Targeted health communications are helpful in improving routine immunization performance. Strategies to address other determinants of routine immunization, such as religion and education, are also needed to maximize coverage.