TAConnect Secures Extension of Pfizer Foundation Grant to Boost Rotavirus Vaccination in Kano State

TAConnect is excited to announce a one-year extension of the Global Health Innovations Grants (GHIG) from the Pfizer Foundation, based on the outstanding outcomes of the previous project aimed at improving rotavirus vaccination in high-burden LGAs in Kano State.

Kano State has one of Nigeria’s lowest rates of fully immunized children, with only 10% receiving the recommended vaccinations for diphtheria, whooping cough, and tetanus. Of Nigeria’s 100 prioritized zero-dose LGAs, 15 are in Kano, with a zero-dose rate of 30%, according to the 2021 Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey/National Immunization Coverage Survey (MICS/NICS). The GHIG7 project adopted a system-strengthening approach that promoted integrated service delivery and addressed both the demand and supply dynamics of immunization in vulnerable and high-burden LGAs and communities.

Key outcomes from the Global Health Innovations Grants (GHIG7) initiative demonstrated significant increases in the uptake of the rotavirus vaccine, as well as other vaccines such as Penta, OPV, and IPV. During the 12-month implementation period, about 51,000 children were vaccinated across 54 health facilities. A total of 1,244 outreach events were conducted to mitigate barriers to vaccine access. These outreach efforts significantly reduced missed opportunities for children aged 0 to 11 months, contributing to over a 50% increase in vaccination uptake and retention. Additionally, the outreach was crucial in reaching children aged 12 to 23 months who had missed their rotavirus vaccinations, resulting in over 90% improvement in uptake and retention.

Building on this success, TAConnect will use the new GHIG8 award to consolidate the lessons and early results from the GHIG7 grant, aligning with national priorities to address the burden of zero-dose children. The project will specifically promote the uptake of vaccinations in zero-dose LGAs. This effort will be anchored on a system-strengthening approach and a human-centered design to promote demand and uptake of immunizations and vaccines.

 The overall technical approach will align with both NPHCDA and SPHCB strategies by identifying and establishing the locations and numbers of zero-dose children in catchment areas, understanding the drivers and root causes of gaps in equity and coverage, advocating for critical resources from all stakeholders using evidence, and reaching them with tailored and sustainable strategies to address supply and demand-side barriers. This approach will also serve as a platform for broader integrated PHC services over the life course.

This initiative will not only enhance immunization coverage but also strengthen primary healthcare (PHC) systems. By adopting a holistic and integrated approach at facility and community levels, TAConnect aims to create a resilient health system capable of effectively and adequately responding to disease outbreaks. 

The project will ensure sustainability and ownership by working closely with state and local governments, building capacity among key stakeholders, and advocating for improved state funding for immunization programs. By addressing both supply and demand-side barriers and engaging with community gatekeepers, TAConnect aims to shift cultural norms and improve vaccine uptake, particularly among the most vulnerable and hard-to-reach populations. With this grant from the Pfizer Foundation, TAConnect is poised to make a significant impact on child health in Kano State, setting a precedent for integrated and sustainable health interventions in Nigeria.

“We are very excited about this opportunity to make an impact and contribute to improved access to vaccinations for children under two years and address zero-dose in vulnerable communities. We sincerely appreciate the Pfizer Foundation for the funding,” said Dr. Lilian Anomnachi, Executive Director of TAConnect.

For media inquiries, please contact us at communications@taconnect-ng.org

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