Annals of African Medicine

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Rapid assessment as an evaluation tool for polio national immunisation days in Brong Ahafo region, Ghana

TM Akande, M Eshetu, G Bonsu


Background: Despite reported high coverage of National Immunization Days (NIDs) campaign in many countries children are still being missed during these campaigns. This is a study of a rapid assessment done to determine OPV coverage during an immunization campaign.

Methods: In this descriptive cross-sectional study, regional supervisors in Brong Ahafo region of Ghana visited randomly selected houses during the first round of the Polio NIDs in October 2004 to identify under-5 children that were reached with OPV vaccines in the households and those missed during the campaign.

Results: In the 13 districts a 1607 houses visited by regional supervisors for rapid assessment, volunteers did not visit 4 (0.24%) houses. There were 3737 under five in all the houses visited by the supervisors for rapid assessment out which 42 (1.2%) were missed and unvaccinated and the reason was that the children were not at home. The assessment showed that the main sources of information to mothers / caretakers on NIDs were Gong-gong and radio. The assessment provided opportunities to identify proportion of children missed and ensure necessary intervention to reach them.

Conclusion: Rapid assessment is a valuable tool for evaluation of NIDs; it enables timely intervention in covering missed children and helps in careful interpretation of the usual over 100% coverage often recorded during NIDs. It is recommended that this be practiced widely to improve quality of NIDs for early global eradication of poliomyelitis.

Keywords: rapid assessment, evaluation, polio immunization

Annals of African Medicine Vol. 4(4) 2005: 172–176

AJOL African Journals Online