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Institutionalizing early vaccination of newborns delivered at government health facilities: Experiences from India

Publish Date: June 2015
Author: Gunjan Taneja, Vijaya Kiran Mentey, Manish Jain, Karan Singh Sagar, Bhupendra Tripathi, Michael Favin, Robert Steinglass

This MCSP co-authored article in the International Journal of Medical Research and Review highlights work done under the Maternal and Child Health Integrated Program, which was operational in India from 2009 – 2014 and provided technical support to the Universal Immunization Program (UIP) at the national level and in the states of Jharkhand and Uttar Pradesh. The Program undertook an assessment in 46 selected health facilities across 5 districts of the two states to study the implementation of the newborn vaccination program.

Key findings included a lack of knowledge among staff about the benefits of newborn vaccination, absence of written guidelines, unavailability of one vaccine compromising the administration of the remaining two, and poor documentation practices. Following the assessment, technical support was provided to strengthen implementation at these selected facilities. The intervention produced favorable results, with a progressive increase in coverage of not only BCG and OPV zero dose, but also Hepatitis B birth dose (which was introduced in the UIP during the course of the intervention).

This intervention indicated clearly that the practice of vaccinating newborns delivered at health facilities is easy to implement and replicate, and  sustainability of this practice should ensure improved coverage and protection against targeted vaccine-preventable diseases.

To read the open access article, click here.