This immunisation coverage was made possible through the Accelerated Immunisation and Health System Strengthening (AIHSS) project – a partnership between the governments of Papua New Guinea, Australia, and New Zealand and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance.
In Central Province, the Provincial Health Authority (PHA), Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI), Child Fund and Susu Mama PNG with technical support from WHO and UNICEF have collaborated to strengthen health systems and improve routine immunisation coverage through clinics and mobile outreach patrols.
The partners work together to address gaps in the health system and meet the local demand for immunisation. Philip Vere, a father from Gabagaba village expressed his gratitude at seeing improvements at the local health facility.
“In the past it was very difficult due to the run-down facilities and we had to travel to Kwikila hospital to access health services.
“I thank the health workers and Susu Mama PNG for bringing health services closer to us,” he said.
Through the AIHSS project, CHAI identified increased demand for childhood immunisation awareness in other catchment areas, including outreach programs.
The AIHSS project has also supported nearly 100,000 pregnant women to attend their first antenatal care visit, which is an important milestone to ensure optimal health outcomes for mothers and babies.
Genamo Tau, a mother from Hula village, said more community engagement would support the immunisation rollout.
“The immunisation services offered in our village health centre have been good for our children as my baby has not been ill since she was born,” she said.
The project is building health workers’ capacity through immunisation training and assisting health facility reporting on rollouts.