Friday, 10 March 2017
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The Global Immunization Newsletter posted this article in February 2017. I share it with you in its entirety.


Persons from Immunization Programmes, National Sta-tistics Offices or Research Institutes from Gabon, Guin-ea-Bissau, Madagascar, Morocco, and Senegal; all coun-tries planning a vaccination coverage survey in 2017, with the exception of Morocco that conducts periodic health surveys that include immunization indicators. Other participants were Swiss Tropical Institute, Agence de Médecine Préventive (AMP)-Côte d’Ivoire, AFR WHO data managers from the Inter Country Sup-port Teams (IST) Central and West; UNICEF WCARO; and independent consultants. The facilitators were from UNICEF and the World Health Organization (WHO and epidemiologists/ statisticians from Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, and Peru, who had been trained on the new WHO vaccination survey in Madrid in 2016 (See GIN Oct 2016), in an effort to strengthen regional capacities.
1. Understand the recommendations from the 2015 WHO Vaccination Coverage Cluster Survey Reference Manual
2. Recognize the most common immunization indicators obtained from vaccination coverage surveys
3. Recognize the tasks in vaccination coverage survey planning which require statistician expertise
4. Make recommendations regarding sampling design and sample size in different settings
5. Determine appropriate adjustments to make when encountering challenges in the field
6. Calculate sampling weights and use them as well as the design features to conduct data analysis
7. Introduce the tool “Vaccination Coverage Quality Indicators (VCQI)” to analyze survey data
In 2015, the Expanded Programme on Immunization (EPI) at WHO released a working draft of a new WHO Vaccination Coverage Cluster Survey Reference Manual. This new Manual was the result of an extensive review and revision of coverage survey methods and materials aimed at improving survey accuracy and overall quality.
While the sampling and analytical methods outlined in the Survey Manual are commonly used on large households health surveys, such as Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) and UNICEF’s Multiple-Cluster Indicator Surveys (MICS), Immunization Programmes are less familiar with them and will likely lack the expertise needed to properly conduct the sampling and analyses recommended in the Survey Manual.
To this end, WHO and UNICEF have joined efforts to train a cadre of persons with statistical exper-tise to support vaccination coverage surveys using the new WHO Survey Manual. This not only helps to ensure technical quality, but also promotes capacity-building on survey statistics in countries where surveys are to be implemented.
This training was similar to one conducted in September 2016 (see GIN, October 2016), but now targeting francophone participants. Work was organized in three groups using a mix of presentations and work group with practical exercises and a case study. Participants’ evaluations were positive for the overall training. Work will continue in order to assist participants when they need to be engaged in survey design and/or analysis and report writing.

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