A pilot influenza vaccination campaign targeting health workers in Côte d’Ivoire succeeded in vaccinating more than 23,000 health workers, supporting the goal of establishing an annual national influenza program.
Fewer than 20% of the world’s low- and lower middle-income countries have a national influenza vaccination program, yet data demonstrates that national vaccination programs are linked to countries’ ability to better respond to health emergencies such as the COVID-19 pandemic. Former Director of Africa’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Dr. John Nkengasong has said that currently the main challenge to combating COVID-19 in Africa where few countries have national vaccination programs is not lack of the vaccine, but logistics constraints and vaccine hesitancy, both of which can be mitigated by national annual vaccination programs.
Recognizing this need, Dr. Daouda Coulibaly from Côte d’Ivoire’s National Institute of Public Health collaborated with The Task Force’s Partnership for Influenza Vaccine Introduction (PIVI) program to build a national influenza program. From November 2021 to January 2022, they conducted a vaccination campaign with support from Latter-day Saint Charities across the nation’s health districts. This outreach resulted in significant participation among health workers, with vaccination rates reaching 80% of the goal. More than 23,000 health workers were vaccinated. Côte d’Ivoire also aimed to closely monitor cases of adverse events following immunization, as well as ensure proper management of waste resulting from vaccination.
For an inside glimpse at how they did it, journey through the campaign at the Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Treichville in Côte d’Ivoire.
Photos courtesy of Kouadio Leger Gannon for PIVI.