Successful completion of multi-intervention SIA in Papua New Guinea: Lessons learnt
Papua New Guinea successfully completed a Multi-intervention SIA in June 2012 within a two months period. PNG is the largest island in the Pacific ream of Islands countries with widely scattered communities, poor road infrastructure and rugged terrain. Access to rural communities is often difficult, slow and expensive as only 3% roads are paved and many villages are only reached on foot.
Measles SIAs have been conducted in PNG since 2003. Based on the successful integration of routine vaccination in past SIAs, an EPI-Plus strategy was adopted in 2012. Around 650,000 children received OPV, Vitamin A and Albendazole tablets while 1.2 million women of child bearing age received tetanus toxoid vaccine including 550,000 children with measles during Measles SIA in 2012; making this the first ever multi-intervention SIA in PNG. Seven provinces achieved > 95% measles coverage. Around 80,000 children also received DTP-HepB-Hib doses during the SIA.
A Rapid Convenience Monitoring was done during the SIA to identify areas of missed children and plan for mop-ups. National officers and international development partners visited 13 provinces for RCM and information was also collected on the reasons for non-vaccination and source of information about the SIA to support district health staffs in improving service delivery during the subsequent SIAs and routine immunization.
The cost of all vaccines, vitamin A and albendazole was borne jointly by GoPNG, WHO and UNICEF while the operational cost was borne by AusAID. Churches played a significant role in programme implementation and social mobilization along with other NGOs and business houses.
The cost outcome analysis of SIA 2012 shows the operational cost per intervention per beneficiary is PGK 0.86 (USD 0.43) while the cost of 2010 was PGK 5.88 (USD 4.85). This justifies the integration of maternal and child health interventions during SIAs in resources-constraint settings like PNG and paves way for such integration in routine outreach immunization sessions in PNG.