SCIDaR officially kicked off the Strengthening PHC and Reaching Unimmunized Kids in Northern Nigeria (SPARK) project. The project – being implemented in seven (7) states – Bauchi, Borno, Kaduna, Kano, Sokoto, Yobe and Zamfara – is the second iteration of SCIDaR’s flagship Northern States Routine Immunization Strengthening Project (NNRISP). 

Project SPARK’s objectives are to; Strengthen planning and coordination for the PHC program to drive effective data-driven and gender-responsive resourcing, performance management, and accountability; Revitalize linkages between state and LGA PHC teams to ensure effective “on the ground” operationalization of PHC  strategy; and Accelerate RI coverage improvements through the implementation of contextualised high impact interventions to reach zero dose children. The kick-off meetings bringing together key stakeholders to ensure successful implementation of the program have been held across states.

In Borno, the SPARK team met with key partners at the Public Health Emergency Operations Center (PHEOC), These included representatives from the State Ministry of Health, State Primary Health Care Development Board,  and representatives from BMGF, UNICEF, WHO, Rotary International, the African Field Epidemiology Network (AFENET), and the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI).  Similarly, all the other states had multi-stakeholder participation across the board with tangible contributions to the project approach, priorities and inception plans.

A baseline diagnostic assessment and stakeholder mapping have been conducted, with insights being codified into a robust project implementation plan.  With this conclusion to the inception phase, full implementation of ProjectSPARK commenced in April 2024.