LESSONS FROM INTEGRATION OF MASS NUTRITION SCREENING DURING COMBINED BOPV/IPV CAMPAIGN IN ARMED CONFLICT SETTINGS, BORNO STATE, NIGERIA
Background: The Boko Haram insurgency has led to severe humanitarian crisis with high levels of malnutrition and polio outbreak in Borno state, Nigeria. In response, outbreak campaigns were conducted that provided an opportunity to integrate nutrition screening during the combined bivalent oral and inactivated polio vaccination (bOPV/IPV) campaign.
Methods: This was a cross-sectional study that measured nutrition status of children using a mid-upper arm circumference (MUAC) measurement tape during bOPV/IPV campaign in 4 of the 24 local government areas (LGAs). Data were collected using tally sheets and mobile ODK Collector and bivariate analysis using logistic regression done.
Results: Over 1.66 million and 1.47 million children received bOPV and IPV vaccines respectively in 24 LGAs. The coverage of bOPV and IPV in integrated and non-integrated LGAs were above 90% with no statistical difference (OR:0.85; 95%CI: 0.55-1.29; p=0.42). Only 48.5% (351795/725509) of targeted children were screened for malnutrition, of those 3.7% (13050/351795) had severe acute malnutrition (SAM). Less than 47.5% of children with SAM were successfully referred and enrolled in the treatment facilities.Conclusion: Coverage of bOPV and IPV were similar in both integrated and non-integrated LGAs indicating that integrating nutrition screening in polio campaigns is feasible with minimal negative effects. As children with SAM have lower serological protection against polio, provides a strong rationale for inclusion of nutrition interventions in global polio eradication efforts. There are critical lessons that were identified including joint planning, well-defined optimal partnership including military collaborations, and a need for joint monitoring.
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