CORE Group
Polio Project

The CORE Group Polio Project (CGPP) is a multi-country, multi-partner initiative providing financial support and on-the-ground technical guidance and support to strengthen host country efforts to eradicate polio. A U.S secretariat serves as a global partnership liaison and provides overall technical assistance and financial management in each country to maximize and harmonize resources and coordinate collaboration among partners. Several CORE Group member organizations come together to implement the CORE Group Secretariat model, a time-tested mechanism for increasing coordination and collaboration. Central to the model and to each CGPP country site is an in-country secretariat- a small team of neutral, technical advisors, independent from any one implementing partner. The Secretariat team facilitates communication, coordination, and transparent decision-making among all partners-unifying the community-level expertise of iNGOs and local NGOs with the international knowledge and strategies of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) partners.

Learn more about the project.

For more information contact Lydia Bologna at lydia.cgpp@gmail.com.

NEW: Access the CORE Group Polio Project Polio Eradication Toolkit online here.

Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA)-Mandera County Kenya:

CGPP’s Role in the Global Polio Eradication Initiative:

CGPP’s Secretariat Model:

The article addresses the timeliness of the third dose of oral polio vaccine (OPV3). The study finds that the father’s education level is the strongest predictor of 8 essential demand-side determinants to timely OPV3 immunization. The authors conclude that “program communication efforts be directed at male community members; such messaging should address parents’ perceptions of non-health benefits and stress the positive attributes of child immunization.”
Shifting Norms to Conquer Polio: Male Engagement Strategies for Vaccine Defaulters in India and Nigeria: CGPP has identified country-specific strategies to engage men in vaccination decision making to decrease vaccine non-compliance and to increase coverage of polio vaccine and other routine immunizations.  CGPP India and CGPP Nigeria have employed creative approaches to empower men to become knowledgeable about the importance of the polio vaccine.

More Than a Shave at a Time: A Pilot Initiative to Improve Male Participation in Routine Immunization through Local Barbers in Uttar Pradesh, India: While men were recognized as the decision makers in many households, vaccination messaging was not always reaching them at the same rate as women. To engage men, particularly fathers, CGPP India identified barber shops as a place of congregation for community men to spread the word on the power of immunization.

Placing Effective Communication Activities in Reaching People on the Move in Uttar Pradesh, India: CGPP India introduced multiple strategies to reduce the number of missed children during campaigns among populations on the move in Uttar Pradesh, such as engaging brick kiln owners, shop keepers and landlords; conducting outreach sessions and using pictorial materials.

Credibility of Community Mobilisers as Messenger in Community-Based Vaccine Trials: Community Health Workers in India have mobilized communities for vaccine trials by breaking barriers of mistrust and resistance. Formed by CGPP India, the Uttar Pradesh Social Mobilization Network (UP SM Net) has successfully restored trust and improved vaccination coverage.

Social Norms Affecting Intake of Oral Polio Vaccine Birth Dose in Uttar Pradesh, India: An Exploratory Study Conducted in the Catchment Districts of CGPP India: The role of social norms is key to shaping demand for OPV0, the oral polio vaccine birth dose. CGPP India introduced specific communication efforts to address obstacles to increase birth dose vaccination uptake in Uttar Pradesh.

Strategies to Immunize Children in Conflict Affected Inaccessible Areas: The CGPP has effectively applied multi-pronged approaches to vaccinate children in hard to reach and conflict-affected areas in the Horn of Africa, including Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, and Ethiopia.  Successful interventions include permanent vaccination posts along borders of conflict zones, tracking of nomadic population movements, cross-border synchronization during immunization rounds and social mapping of border crossing points.

An Equal Shot at a Health: Providing Immunization Services for the Hardest to Reach

All children, regardless of where they live deserve to be vaccinated. This article describes how CORE Group Polio Project works together with the International Rescue Committee (IRC) to support the Turkana County Ministry of Health in conducting successful polio vaccination campaigns.

CORE Group Polio Project presented at the 2018 SBCC Summit in Bali, Indonesia in April.

Presentation Links are below.

What Works in Complex Settings? https://coregroup.adobeconnect.com/pomfh0uelmmt/

Necessary Bedfellows: https://coregroup.adobeconnect.com/pa8e2mprurvg/

The Global Health Cluster published a new photo essay, “From the ground up: local partners improve health care,” featuring the work of Health Cluster local partners in Iraq, Yemen, Afghanistan, Syrian Arab Republic, Sudan, Bangladesh, South Sudan, and Ukraine. The essay celebrates the capacity of local actors to provide sustainable services, which can reach the most vulnerable communities and withstand emergencies and conflict.

The featured organization in South Sudan is BioAid, a partner of CORE Group Polio Project (CGPP) South Sudan. Formed in November 2010, CGPP South Sudan supports a strong community-based surveillance network, nationwide campaign monitoring and critical cross-border work. The CGPP strategy of working with and through local NGOs has made CGPP South Sudan one of the only partners able to maintain Acute Flaccid Paralysis surveillance and social mobilizations activities despite the current conflict.

In the featured photo, BioAid worker Koma Samuel investigates a case of Acute Flaccid Paralysis (AFP), a symptom associated with the onset of polio, in a young boy in the village of Moloktoch.

As the world moves closer to the end of polio, more than 70 child health survival champions shared approaches to transition the best practices of the CORE Group Polio Project (CGPP) to broader health interventions and public health challenges at a workshop:

Reaching Every Child: Sharing approaches to improve child health workshop
September 22, 2017 | Washington, DC

During the workshop, project leaders and workshop participants explored the unique Secretariat Model and other CGPP strategies to reach vulnerable children in insecure, fragile communities.

USAID’s flagship Maternal and Child Survival Program, World Vision, PATH, The Communication Initiative, United Nations Foundation, JSI, CRS and PCI all collaborated with the CORE Group Polio Project (CGPP) to plan the workshop.

Download the workshop report.

Watch a video recording of select sessions from the workshop.

The CORE Group Polio Project (CGPP) organized a plenary session at CORE Group’s Fall 2017 Global Health Practitioner Conference on Wednesday, September 27:

Realities: Coordinated Impact at the Country and Global Level
Ahmed Arale, CORE Group Polio Project (CGPP) Kenya/Somalia; Filimona Bisrat, CGPP Ethiopia; Frank Conlon, CGPP; Anthony Kisanga, CGPP South Sudan; Lee Losey, CGPP; Ellyn Ogden, USAID; Roma Solomon, CGPP India; Samuel Usman, CGPP Nigeria; Leo Ryan, ICF International (Moderator)

The session provided an overview of the lessons learned from the polio eradication project with an emphasis on how they could be of value across a variety of maternal and child health projects. Speakers shared experiences from the past 18 years and how they can be best applied to other health initiatives through discussions of CGPP country initiatives such as the non-traditional consortium and collaborative model, evolution of communication strategy, innovations, and relevance to other infectious diseases.

View a summary report of the session.

Access a recording of the session.

In honor of World Immunization Week 2017 (April 24 – 30), Gavi featured a CGPP iterview with a mother from Asmoli village in Utter Pradesh explaining why she is immunizing her baby.

See the post on vaccineswork.org, and watch the full interview here.

Scroll.in is an independent news, information, and entertainment venture that brings into sharp focus the most important political and cultural stories that are shaping contemporary India.

Read the story here: Meet the community workers who convinced Muzaffarnagar’s Muslims to trust the polio vaccine

Dr. Bisrat accepts a certificate of recognition from President Teshome and the Consortium of Christian Relief and Development Associations on behalf of CORE Group Polio Project staff and partners in November. The project was recognized on NGO Good Practice Day for ongoing technical, financial, and material support to the Consortium and civil society in Ethiopia.

The photo shows H.E. Dr. Mulatu Teshome, President of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia (right) and Dr. Filimona Bisrat, Director of the CORE Group Polio Project in Ethiopia (left).

Social Mobilization: Lessons from the CORE Group Polio Project in Angola, Ethiopia, and India

Okiror, S. O., Bisrat, F., Lutukai, M., Bhui, B. R. (2015). Community-based surveillance on polio eradication in the Horn of Africa. African Health Monitor, 19, 44-45.

Okiror, S. O., Kisanga, A., Bhui, B. R. (2015). Cross-border Initiative on Polio Eradication in the Horn of Africa. African Health Monitor, 19, 51 – 52.

Curry, D. W., Perry, H. B., Tirmizi, S. N., Goldstein, A. L., Lynch, M. C. (2014). Assessing the Effectiveness of House-to-House Visits on Routine Oral Polio Immunization Completion and Tracking of Defaulters. Journal of Health, Population and Nutrition 32(2), 356-366.

Weiss, W. M., Choudhary, M., & Solomon, R. (2013). Performance and determinants of routine immunization coverage within a polio eradication program in Uttar Pradesh, India: Social Mobilization Network (SM Net) and CORE Group Polio Project (CGPP). BMC International Health and Human Rights.

Coates, E. A., Waisbord, S., Awale, J., Solomon, R., Dey, R. (2013). Successful polio eradication in Uttar Pradesh, India: the pivotal contribution of the Social Mobilization Network, an NGO/UNICEF collaboration. Global Health: Science and Practice, 1(1), 68-83.

Curry, D., Bisrat, F., Coates, E., & Altman, P. (2013). Reaching beyond the health post: Community-based surveillance for polio eradication. Development in Practice, 23(1), 69-78.

Weiss, W. M., Hafizur, R., Solomon, R., & Ward, D. (2013). Determinants of performance of supplemental immunization activities for polio eradication in Uttar Pradesh, India: social mobilization activities of the Social Mobilization Network (SM Net) and CORE Group Polio Project (CGPP). BMC Infectious Diseases, 13(17).

Bisrat, F., and Fantahun, M. (Eds.). (2013). Contributing Towards Polio Eradication in Ethiopia [Supplement]. Ethiopian Medical Journal, 1.

Estívariz, C. F., Jafari, H., Sutter, R. W., John, T. J., Jain, V., Agarwal, A., Verma, H., Pallansch, M. A., Singh, A. P., Guirguis, S., Awale, J., Burton, A., Bahl, S., Chatterjee, A., Aylward, R. B. (2012). Immunogenicity of supplemental doses of poliovirus vaccine for children aged 6-9 months in Moradabad, India: a community-based, randomized controlled trial. The Lancet Infectious Diseases, 12(2), 128-135.

Weiss, W. M., Rahman, M. H., Solomon, R., Singh, V., & Ward, D. (2011). Outcomes of polio eradication activities in Uttar Pradesh, India: the Social Mobilization Network (SM Net) and CORE Group Polio Project (CGPP). BMC Infectious Diseases, 11(117).

Access the CORE Group Polio Project Polio Eradication Toolkit here (https://coregroup.org/polio-eradication-toolkit/)
+ News
The article addresses the timeliness of the third dose of oral polio vaccine (OPV3). The study finds that the father’s education level is the strongest predictor of 8 essential demand-side determinants to timely OPV3 immunization. The authors conclude that “program communication efforts be directed at male community members; such messaging should address parents’ perceptions of non-health benefits and stress the positive attributes of child immunization.”
Shifting Norms to Conquer Polio: Male Engagement Strategies for Vaccine Defaulters in India and Nigeria: CGPP has identified country-specific strategies to engage men in vaccination decision making to decrease vaccine non-compliance and to increase coverage of polio vaccine and other routine immunizations.  CGPP India and CGPP Nigeria have employed creative approaches to empower men to become knowledgeable about the importance of the polio vaccine.

More Than a Shave at a Time: A Pilot Initiative to Improve Male Participation in Routine Immunization through Local Barbers in Uttar Pradesh, India: While men were recognized as the decision makers in many households, vaccination messaging was not always reaching them at the same rate as women. To engage men, particularly fathers, CGPP India identified barber shops as a place of congregation for community men to spread the word on the power of immunization.

Placing Effective Communication Activities in Reaching People on the Move in Uttar Pradesh, India: CGPP India introduced multiple strategies to reduce the number of missed children during campaigns among populations on the move in Uttar Pradesh, such as engaging brick kiln owners, shop keepers and landlords; conducting outreach sessions and using pictorial materials.

Credibility of Community Mobilisers as Messenger in Community-Based Vaccine Trials: Community Health Workers in India have mobilized communities for vaccine trials by breaking barriers of mistrust and resistance. Formed by CGPP India, the Uttar Pradesh Social Mobilization Network (UP SM Net) has successfully restored trust and improved vaccination coverage.

Social Norms Affecting Intake of Oral Polio Vaccine Birth Dose in Uttar Pradesh, India: An Exploratory Study Conducted in the Catchment Districts of CGPP India: The role of social norms is key to shaping demand for OPV0, the oral polio vaccine birth dose. CGPP India introduced specific communication efforts to address obstacles to increase birth dose vaccination uptake in Uttar Pradesh.

Strategies to Immunize Children in Conflict Affected Inaccessible Areas: The CGPP has effectively applied multi-pronged approaches to vaccinate children in hard to reach and conflict-affected areas in the Horn of Africa, including Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, and Ethiopia.  Successful interventions include permanent vaccination posts along borders of conflict zones, tracking of nomadic population movements, cross-border synchronization during immunization rounds and social mapping of border crossing points.

An Equal Shot at a Health: Providing Immunization Services for the Hardest to Reach

All children, regardless of where they live deserve to be vaccinated. This article describes how CORE Group Polio Project works together with the International Rescue Committee (IRC) to support the Turkana County Ministry of Health in conducting successful polio vaccination campaigns.

CORE Group Polio Project presented at the 2018 SBCC Summit in Bali, Indonesia in April.

Presentation Links are below.

What Works in Complex Settings? https://coregroup.adobeconnect.com/pomfh0uelmmt/

Necessary Bedfellows: https://coregroup.adobeconnect.com/pa8e2mprurvg/

The Global Health Cluster published a new photo essay, “From the ground up: local partners improve health care,” featuring the work of Health Cluster local partners in Iraq, Yemen, Afghanistan, Syrian Arab Republic, Sudan, Bangladesh, South Sudan, and Ukraine. The essay celebrates the capacity of local actors to provide sustainable services, which can reach the most vulnerable communities and withstand emergencies and conflict.

The featured organization in South Sudan is BioAid, a partner of CORE Group Polio Project (CGPP) South Sudan. Formed in November 2010, CGPP South Sudan supports a strong community-based surveillance network, nationwide campaign monitoring and critical cross-border work. The CGPP strategy of working with and through local NGOs has made CGPP South Sudan one of the only partners able to maintain Acute Flaccid Paralysis surveillance and social mobilizations activities despite the current conflict.

In the featured photo, BioAid worker Koma Samuel investigates a case of Acute Flaccid Paralysis (AFP), a symptom associated with the onset of polio, in a young boy in the village of Moloktoch.

As the world moves closer to the end of polio, more than 70 child health survival champions shared approaches to transition the best practices of the CORE Group Polio Project (CGPP) to broader health interventions and public health challenges at a workshop:

Reaching Every Child: Sharing approaches to improve child health workshop
September 22, 2017 | Washington, DC

During the workshop, project leaders and workshop participants explored the unique Secretariat Model and other CGPP strategies to reach vulnerable children in insecure, fragile communities.

USAID’s flagship Maternal and Child Survival Program, World Vision, PATH, The Communication Initiative, United Nations Foundation, JSI, CRS and PCI all collaborated with the CORE Group Polio Project (CGPP) to plan the workshop.

Download the workshop report.

Watch a video recording of select sessions from the workshop.

The CORE Group Polio Project (CGPP) organized a plenary session at CORE Group’s Fall 2017 Global Health Practitioner Conference on Wednesday, September 27:

Realities: Coordinated Impact at the Country and Global Level
Ahmed Arale, CORE Group Polio Project (CGPP) Kenya/Somalia; Filimona Bisrat, CGPP Ethiopia; Frank Conlon, CGPP; Anthony Kisanga, CGPP South Sudan; Lee Losey, CGPP; Ellyn Ogden, USAID; Roma Solomon, CGPP India; Samuel Usman, CGPP Nigeria; Leo Ryan, ICF International (Moderator)

The session provided an overview of the lessons learned from the polio eradication project with an emphasis on how they could be of value across a variety of maternal and child health projects. Speakers shared experiences from the past 18 years and how they can be best applied to other health initiatives through discussions of CGPP country initiatives such as the non-traditional consortium and collaborative model, evolution of communication strategy, innovations, and relevance to other infectious diseases.

View a summary report of the session.

Access a recording of the session.

In honor of World Immunization Week 2017 (April 24 – 30), Gavi featured a CGPP iterview with a mother from Asmoli village in Utter Pradesh explaining why she is immunizing her baby.

See the post on vaccineswork.org, and watch the full interview here.

Scroll.in is an independent news, information, and entertainment venture that brings into sharp focus the most important political and cultural stories that are shaping contemporary India.

Read the story here: Meet the community workers who convinced Muzaffarnagar’s Muslims to trust the polio vaccine

Dr. Bisrat accepts a certificate of recognition from President Teshome and the Consortium of Christian Relief and Development Associations on behalf of CORE Group Polio Project staff and partners in November. The project was recognized on NGO Good Practice Day for ongoing technical, financial, and material support to the Consortium and civil society in Ethiopia.

The photo shows H.E. Dr. Mulatu Teshome, President of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia (right) and Dr. Filimona Bisrat, Director of the CORE Group Polio Project in Ethiopia (left).

+ REPORTS & RESOURCES
Social Mobilization: Lessons from the CORE Group Polio Project in Angola, Ethiopia, and India

Okiror, S. O., Bisrat, F., Lutukai, M., Bhui, B. R. (2015). Community-based surveillance on polio eradication in the Horn of Africa. African Health Monitor, 19, 44-45.

Okiror, S. O., Kisanga, A., Bhui, B. R. (2015). Cross-border Initiative on Polio Eradication in the Horn of Africa. African Health Monitor, 19, 51 – 52.

Curry, D. W., Perry, H. B., Tirmizi, S. N., Goldstein, A. L., Lynch, M. C. (2014). Assessing the Effectiveness of House-to-House Visits on Routine Oral Polio Immunization Completion and Tracking of Defaulters. Journal of Health, Population and Nutrition 32(2), 356-366.

Weiss, W. M., Choudhary, M., & Solomon, R. (2013). Performance and determinants of routine immunization coverage within a polio eradication program in Uttar Pradesh, India: Social Mobilization Network (SM Net) and CORE Group Polio Project (CGPP). BMC International Health and Human Rights.

Coates, E. A., Waisbord, S., Awale, J., Solomon, R., Dey, R. (2013). Successful polio eradication in Uttar Pradesh, India: the pivotal contribution of the Social Mobilization Network, an NGO/UNICEF collaboration. Global Health: Science and Practice, 1(1), 68-83.

Curry, D., Bisrat, F., Coates, E., & Altman, P. (2013). Reaching beyond the health post: Community-based surveillance for polio eradication. Development in Practice, 23(1), 69-78.

Weiss, W. M., Hafizur, R., Solomon, R., & Ward, D. (2013). Determinants of performance of supplemental immunization activities for polio eradication in Uttar Pradesh, India: social mobilization activities of the Social Mobilization Network (SM Net) and CORE Group Polio Project (CGPP). BMC Infectious Diseases, 13(17).

Bisrat, F., and Fantahun, M. (Eds.). (2013). Contributing Towards Polio Eradication in Ethiopia [Supplement]. Ethiopian Medical Journal, 1.

Estívariz, C. F., Jafari, H., Sutter, R. W., John, T. J., Jain, V., Agarwal, A., Verma, H., Pallansch, M. A., Singh, A. P., Guirguis, S., Awale, J., Burton, A., Bahl, S., Chatterjee, A., Aylward, R. B. (2012). Immunogenicity of supplemental doses of poliovirus vaccine for children aged 6-9 months in Moradabad, India: a community-based, randomized controlled trial. The Lancet Infectious Diseases, 12(2), 128-135.

Weiss, W. M., Rahman, M. H., Solomon, R., Singh, V., & Ward, D. (2011). Outcomes of polio eradication activities in Uttar Pradesh, India: the Social Mobilization Network (SM Net) and CORE Group Polio Project (CGPP). BMC Infectious Diseases, 11(117).

Access the CORE Group Polio Project Polio Eradication Toolkit here (https://coregroup.org/polio-eradication-toolkit/)
Ethiopia

Dr. Filimona Bisrat, Secretariat Director

Consortium of Christian Relief and Development Association (CCRDA), Secretariat Host Organization

Read CGPP Ethiopia’s latest quarterly newsletter!

See how CGPP Ethiopia celebrated World Polio Day 2017.

The CORE Group Polio Project (CGPP) began in Ethiopia in November 2001 and has addressed a variety of challenges by reaching hard-to-reach communities with vaccination services and surveillance. As a country at high risk for importation from neighboring conflict-affected Somalia and South Sudan, Ethiopia continues to maintain high immunization rates and excellent surveillance. The country has been free of wild polio virus since January 2014.

CGPP has focused on reaching underserved rural, pastoralist and semi-pastoralist areas to facilitate opportunities to vaccinate and for case search and reporting to maintain acute flaccid paralysis (AFP) surveillance quality. CGPP-Ethiopia has trained and placed about 12,000 community volunteers and health workers along the vulnerable borders of South Sudan, Kenya and Somalia.

CGPP-Ethiopia presently collaborates with six international NGOs (CARE Ethiopia, Catholic Relief Services, Save the Children, World Vision Ethiopia, International Rescue Committee and African Medical Research Foundation) and five local NGOs. These partners are implementing activities in 85 woredas (districts) of five regions in the country – reaching a total of 2,585,648 children under 15 years annually.

Survey results from 2015 revealed that knowledge among mothers and caretakers about polio is high at 95.1 percent but knowledge on the importance of polio birth dose is low at 54.8 percent. The most prevalent reasons for not having a child vaccinated included lack of healthcare workers coming to give the vaccine at the village, lack of awareness about the vaccine, and an absence of a health facility in the locality.

The seasoned and well-regarded CGPP team recognizes that sustained efforts and attention to a range of barriers to seeking immunization are needed to strengthen surveillance and routine immunization for polio.

India

Dr. Roma Solomon, Secretariat Director
Project Concern International (PCI) Secretariat Host Organization

India’s interruption of the wild polio virus in 2011 remains a gold standard of CGPP’s work. No longer endemic, India in 2017 supports large-scale vaccination campaigns, ensures robust disease surveillance systems and readies with response plans for potential outbreaks.

Not too long ago India had been one of the stubbornest places on the globe to eradicate polio. In 2009, India reported 741 polio cases – more than any other country in the world. By 2010, India cut its reported cases to 42, just a small proportion of the 1,352 global cases. In a remarkable accomplishment, India completed 2012 without a single case of wild poliovirus. The country was certified polio free in March 2014.

Formed in 1999, CGPP-India coordinates and supervises the overall country program. CGPP-India operates through three CORE Group member organizations: PCI, Adventist Development and Relief Agency and Catholic Relief Services. CGPP-India operates in 12 high-risk districts in the Uttar Pradesh state, reaching an estimated 1.2 million children under 5 through 1,100 social mobilizers. The work of the three NGO partners is conducted through eight community-based organizations.

Due to the high quality of surveillance in India and now waning resistance to polio vaccination in concentrated sub-populations, the CGPP program in India focuses on social mobilization and detailed, sub-district level micro-planning to overcome resistance to improve supplemental polio immunization and routine immunization coverage.

A three-tier network of CGPP mobilizers effectively sustains the changed behavior of the target audience.

  1. Community Mobilization Coordinators (CMCS)
    Each CMC is responsible for mobilizing about 500 households, including holding commu¬nity meetings, bringing local influential people to home visits, and holding health camps. Each CMC maintains immunization status records for all the under five children in their assigned areas and for those participating in vaccination campaigns.
  2. Block Mobilization Coordinators (BMCs)
    Each BMC is responsible for social mobilization activities at the block level and overseeing and leading the CMCs.
  3. District Mobilization Coordinators (DMCs)
    Each DMC is responsible for supervising the BMCs and conducting social mobilization activities throughout the district.

Check out “Eradicating Polio: CORE-PCI’s Experiences in India” by Robin Wyatt with over 100 beautiful images telling the story of CGPP and PCI’s efforts to make polio history.

Kenya and Somalia

Ahmed Arale, Secretariat Director

Catholic Relief Services, Secretariat Host Organization

The Horn of Africa region was hit by a wild poliovirus outbreak in April 2013 with a record number of cases: 194 in Somalia, 14 in Kenya and 9 in Ethiopia. While the outbreak occurred primarily in Somalia, it quickly spread into Kenya and Ethiopia. All the Somalia polio cases belonged to cluster N5A that was known to have been circulating in northern Nigeria since 2011. At around the same time the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) had entered a new phase with a significant reduction in case counts in endemic countries and a heightened recognition of the risk for the international spread of the virus. In May 2014, WHO declared polio a public health emergency and issued recommendations requiring proof of polio vaccination for travel to and from polio-afflicted countries. The Core Group Polio Project Kenya and Somalia was created to prevent and respond to any future outbreaks by building upon existing NGO child survival experience and expertise.

The Kenya and Somalia Secretariat is based in Nairobi and supports polio eradication activities through networks at community, sub-national, national and regional levels. The project works directly with 80 health facilities in Kenya’s six counties and 16 health facilities in Somalia’s two regions. CGPP Kenya-Somalia work through five international NGOs and one local organization – International Rescue Committee, Catholic Relief Services, World Vision-Kenya, Adventist Development and Relief Association and Somali Aid, a local NGO.

CORE Group is well-situated to contribute to regional planning, monitoring and evaluation, and the creation, adaptation, and dissemination of M&E and social mobilization tools for use by NGOs, PVOs, ministries of health, UN agencies, and others active in polio eradication in the region. The Kenya-Somalia team also represents the CGPP at regional meetings, forums, and planning discussions giving voice to the NGO/PVO and community perspective.

The greatest challenge to HOA polio eradication is the potential for cross-border transmission of wild poliovirus through mobile populations, and the CGPP has accordingly choses to focus on improving eradication efforts among cross-border communities and mobile populations. CGPP-HOA also works closely with the CGPP Ethiopia and South Sudan programs in cross-border collaboration.

Nigeria

Dr. Samuel Usman, Secretariat Director
Catholic Relief Services, Secretariat Host Organization

CGPP launched polio eradication activities in Nigeria in 2013 with sub-grants to three NGOs to contribute to the goals of the national emergency action plan in high-risk areas by integrating with ongoing child health services. CGPP joined the other implementing partners under the general operational auspices of the National Polio Emergency Operations Center (EOC) and state EOCs. The project has emphasized capacity building to improve the health and well-being of children and women through collaborative action and learning. The project has promoted collaboration between CGPP members, their local NGO partners, the national EOC, local Ministries of Health, WHO, UNICEF, Rotary, CDC and local levels of government.

Nigeria has made dramatic progress in the last several years by shifting from the country with the highest number of cases globally in 2012 (101) to 50 cases in 2013, six cases in 2014, and no cases from July 2014 until August 2016. After being declared free of poliovirus, Nigeria has been again designated as a polio-endemic country after the discovery of wild poliovirus circulating undetected in Borno State for five years.

Under the leadership of the Secretariat Director, the CGPP Nigeria Secretariat coordinates and supervises the overall country program. CGPP implements interventions in partnership with International Medical Corps (IMC) in Borno and Kano States; Catholic Relief Services (CRS) in Yobe and Kaduna states and Save the Children in Katsina state. The work of the three NGO partners is conducted through eight community-based organizations. The project is reaching more than 1.1 million beneficiaries with Routine Immunization and Polio Eradication interventions across the five program states and in 32 Local Government Areas.

Although only one partner of many, CGPP-Nigeria has played an important role in introducing the voice and skills of civil society to Nigeria’s polio eradication efforts and contributing to community level promotion of immunization and case detection. The CGPP continues to support community based surveillance, outbreak response, and enhanced immunization systems through 2,000 community mobilizers implementing many of the tools and strategies that CGPP developed in other countries.

Anticipated Results Over Life of Project

CGPP aligns its plans and activities with the national EOC. The strategic priorities identified by the national EOC, after consultation with immunization partners and local stakeholders to achieve the set goal, targets and milestones, include: (1) building resilience towards certification; (2) enhancing SIA quality in prioritized vulnerable areas; (3) utilizing special approaches for insecure areas; (4) mounting timely and adequate polioviruses outbreak responses; (5) enhancing routine immunization; (6) intensifying surveillance and tracking documentation deliverables towards certification; (7) withdrawal of tOPV; and (8) polio legacy planning. All strategies will be underpinned by strict adherence to the accountability framework which continues to guide the National Polio Eradication Emergency Plan (NPEEP, 2017, NPHCDA).

South Sudan

Anthony Kisanga, Secretariat Director
World Vision, Secretariat Host Organization

Formed in November 2010, CGPP-South Sudan supports a strong community-based surveillance network, nationwide campaign monitoring and critical cross-border work. The CGPP strategy of working with and through local NGOs has made CGPP South Sudan one of the only partners able to maintain Acute Flaccid Paralysis surveillance and social mobilizations activities despite the current conflict.

CGPP-South Sudan partners with three local NGOs: BioAid, Support for Peace and Educational Development Program (SPEDP) and Universal Network for Knowledge Empowerment (UNKEA) for community based AFP surveillance. Community-based surveillance efforts are focused in the three conflict-affected northern states of Jonglei, Upper Nile and Unity and in Kapoeta East in Eastern Equatoria State. More than 3,000 volunteers search for active cases of acute flaccid paralysis (AFP) to complement the formal WHO surveillance system.

Additionally, CGPP-South Sudan leads nationwide independent campaign monitoring by conducting post campaign evaluations of the country’s four annual SIAs. The quality and coverage of each campaign is evaluated by about 300 local teachers who are trained by state supervisors. CGPP targets approximately 2.6 million children under the age of five through countrywide independent campaign monitoring to evaluate campaign implementation. This data is used to review vaccinator success and problems during review meetings at the end of each day’s work during the campaign and to evaluate the percentage of children missed at the end of the campaign.

In collaboration with WHO, UNICEF, CDC and the Ministries of Health, the South Sudan Secretariat leads the national cross-border collaboration with Uganda, Kenya and the Democratic Republic of Congo. In response to the 2013 HOA wild polio outbreak, the Technical Advisory Group (TAG) recommended that countries implement cross-border collaborative initiatives to strengthen surveillance, routine immunization and supplementary immunization activities to ensure effective coordination and collaboration among countries to reach all children residing along the border and to respond swiftly in case of an outbreak.