Core Group Polio Project (Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation)
SPEDP, a member of the CORE Group in South Sudan implements “Strengthening Acute Flaccid Paralysis Surveillance Project” as part of the CORE Group Polio Project in Central Equatoria, Upper Nile and Jonglei States in 4 Counties of Morobo, Melut, Renk and Pochalla. The general objective of this project is “to establish vigilant and sensitive surveillance system, in preparedness for any possible wild polio importation.”
Specifically, the project is aimed at achieving high quality active surveillance system, Strengthen surveillance system in high risk areas by utilizing available resources, Integrate surveillance system with neighboring countries to timely detect and report cross border AFP cases and improve population immunity through setting up of special vaccination posts along cross border areas for WPV interruption.
The Project supports strengthening of community based AFP surveillance in 4 Counties by working with key informants to detect, report suspected cases on time, initiate investigation ad stool sample collection and transportation to the nearest WHO offices or directly to Juba in case there is not WHO office close by.
The project places one (1) County Supervisor placed in each of the counties to oversee the surveillance implementation of this project and supervise Payam Assistant. Each Payam has Payam Assistant who in turn works with Key Community Informants i.e. Church leaders, women groups, school teachers, traditional healers, local clinic owners, TBAs, Health Facility workers, herbalists, households etc. who undergo institutional training at the beginning of the project and a refresher training after six months of implementation of the project, both trained conducted jointly by CHDs, WHO Field Assistants and SPEDP. They will initiate weekly, monthly and quarterly visits for AFP case search based on priority.
So far, the project has established a sensitive surveillance system and a network of volunteers / key informants and social mobilizers to ensure effective surveillance and reporting. The project has also initiated Cross border activities in 3 counties of Morobo, Pochalla and Renk to strengthen cross border surveillance, share surveillance information and coordinate surveillance efforts. These include; setting up Cross Border Health Committees tasked with responsibility of cross border activity implementation. These committees will comprise of County Medical Officers (CMOs) in the 3 counties of Morobo, Pochalla and Renk; County EPI Supervisors, IDSR Officers, CBSOs, Health Education Officers, and WHO Field Supervisors/Field Assistants.
Setting up Special Vaccination Posts with an aim of interrupting WPV importation, focusing on vaccinating children 0-15 years crossing along busy routes, standardized with WHO; conducting Quarterly Cross Border meetings to review activities of the cross border; and conducting cross border bi-annual meetings with close-by districts in neighboring countries like Uganda, DRC, Ethiopia and Sudan.