This policy brief focuses on strengthening routine immunisation (RI) systems in Nigeria. From inception in 2002, PATHS has worked in collaboration with Nigerian stakeholders to contribute towards improving Routine Immunisation (RI) services. A PATHS-supported technical roundtable on immunisation held in 2004 and to which a wide range of federal and state level stakeholders were invited, identified supply and demand-side barriers to increasing immunisation coverage. These barriers included both systemic and programmatic challenges that were, to varying degrees, confronting all states. The roundtable recommended a broad strategic framework that could be adapted to fit state-specific needs, challenges and priorities. The framework included components on system strengthening; evidence-based programmatic interventions; and social mobilisation and demand creation.
The key drivers of the modest gains achieved in the PATHS-supported states were:
- Creating pressure for a higher level of political support for immunisation
- Building the commitment of health managers
- Increased financing for immunisation
- Developing skills and competencies for planning, implementation, monitoring and supervision
- Increasing access to services by increasing the number of institutions providing RI and the frequency of immunisation sessions
- Providing adequate, safe, and potent vaccines
- Creating demand through social mobilisation and behaviour change communication.