Effects of polio eradication activities on routine immunization: lessons from the 2013 outbreak response in Somali region of Ethiopia


Introduction: Ethiopia experienced several WPV importations with a total of 10 WPV1 cases confirmed during the 2013 outbreak alone before it is closed in 2015. We evaluated supplemental immunization activities (SIAs), including lessons learned for their effect on the routine immunization program during the 2013 polio outbreak in Somali regional state. Methods: we used descriptive study to review documents and analyse routine health information system reports from the polio outbreak affected Somali regional state. Results: all data and technical reports of the 15 rounds of polio SIAs from June 2013 through June 2015 and routine immunization coverages for DPT-Hib-HepB 3 and measles were observed. More than 93% of the SIAs were having administrative coverage above 95%. The trend of routine immunization for the two antigens, over the five years (2011 through 2015) did not show a consistent pattern against the number of SIAs. Documentations showed qualitative positive impacts of the SIAs strengthening the routine immunization during all courses of the campaigns. Conclusion: the quantitative impact of polio SIAs on routine immunization remained not so impressive in this study. Clear planning, data consistencies and completeness issues need to be cleared for the impact assessment in quantitative terms, in polio legacy planning as well as for the introduction of injectable polio vaccine through the routine immunization.