The Solina Centre for International Development and Research (SCIDaR) is honored to observe World Polio Day by showcasing the transformative work we’ve been engaged in to support the eradication of polio in Nigeria and across several countries.

A Battle Against Resurging Poliovirus

In 2020, Nigeria celebrated the achievement of being declared polio-free, thanks to substantial investments made by the federal government and partners. The Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) and its collaborators also witnessed success across Africa. However, the resurgence of circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus (cVDPV2) outbreaks has become a growing concern for the continent. Since 2020, over 3,200 poliovirus cases have been reported in 35 countries in the AFRO region, with Nigeria experiencing a surge from 22 cases in 7 states in 2020 to 1,028 cases across 31 states in 2021.

Reinvigorating the Fight

In response to this new threat, the Nigerian Government and its partners recommitted to allocating resources to combat the deadly virus. In 2022, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) engaged SCIDaR to provide critical technical support to National and State Emergency Operations Centers (EOCs) teams.

Innovation for Reaching Security-Compromised Communities

SCIDaR, alongside other partners, supported the State Primary Health Care Development Agency (SPHCDA) in executing polio vaccination campaigns in security-compromised areas in Northern Nigeria. Our unique approach, known as the Reach Every Settlement (RES) strategy, involved the engagement of local residents, vigilantes, community leaders, and civilian joint task forces. This intervention aimed to reach at least 90% of security-compromised settlements in Borno, Kaduna, Katsina, Kebbi, Niger, Sokoto, Yobe, and Zamfara states. The goal was to make at least five contacts and vaccinate all children under the age of 5 with polio vaccines across these states.

Between May 2022 and September 2023, SCIDaR supported the implementation of 21 vaccination rounds, achieving remarkable results with 5,595 settlements reached and 345,544 children vaccinated.

Success Beyond Security-Compromised Areas

Our commitment to the fight against polio extended to non-security compromised areas. We embedded two full-time consultants to support the Incident Manager and data working group performance across all 28 states. This support resulted in significant improvements, with more than 80% of Local Government Areas (LGAs) passing the Lot Quality Assurance Sampling (LQAS) in 8 out of the last 10 rounds supported by SCIDaR.

Contributing to the Continental Frontier

In addition to our work in Nigeria, SCIDaR has actively supported the development of campaign micro plans, the establishment of functional polio Technical Working Groups (TWGs) with TORs and clear deliverables, routine update and tracking of the campaign preparedness dashboard, development and tracking of national and provincial campaign quality improvement plans, tracking disbursement of campaign funds to the operational levels, and documentation and tracking of action items from national and provincial weekly coordination meetings across several focus countries.

SCIDaR’s data analysis support in DR Congo, Madagascar, Malawi, and Madagascar has played a vital role in mapping SIA data flow, analyzing provincial and district campaign preparedness, and post-campaign result analysis to identify and resolve bottlenecks, support off-track provinces and districts, and develop district-specific improvement plans.

A Milestone Achieved in 2023

In 2023, SCIDaR supported the implementation of 9 rounds of polio campaigns in DR Congo, Madagascar, Malawi, and Madagascar, contributing to the vaccination of over 149 million children. Our efforts have reached over 500,000 zero-dose children with life-saving vaccines. Remarkably, across the supported countries, over 80% of districts have passed LQAS in multiple rounds of campaigns.

Our Unwavering Commitment

On this World Polio Day, we reiterate our unwavering commitment to the global effort to eradicate polio. SCIDaR remains dedicated to supporting Nigeria and other nations in their relentless ambition of eradicating this crippling disease. Together, we can make the dream of a polio-free world a reality.