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National Stop Transmission of polio (NSTOP) and other Routine Immunization programme strengthening oriented short courses
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The training unit is the arm of the NSTOP program involved with capacity building mostly at the frontline level. It works in collaboration with the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency and other RI partners to strengthen the workforce for health in Nigeria, focusing primarily on Vaccine Preventable Diseases. Annually, it trains a different cadre of EPI staff at national and sub-national levels on various vaccination and surveillance thematic areas based on identified areas of improvement. Thematic areas covered include introduction to RI, Reaching Every Ward, Microplanning, Vaccine and cold chain management, RI service delivery and supportive supervision, immunization campaign management, data management, RI demand creation, Vaccine Preventable Diseases, surveillance and monitoring and evaluation. Other areas of focus include leadership and management training for Directors of Primary Health Care and other health program leaders, measles and rubella surveillance in Nigeria and measles in routine immunization. The didactic components of most of these training are closely followed by post-training field assignments that help participants to build on the knowledge gained from classroom sessions. An average of seven hundred and seventeen (717) LGA level EPI personnel and over ten thousand (10,000) health facility level staff are trained and retrained annually on one or more of these thematic modules across the eleven (11) NSTOP supported states from 2013 till date.
Findings from the various post-training assignments and field visits have been useful in promoting routine immunization demand creation, service delivery quality and vaccine accountability in the eleven NSTOP supported states categorized as polio high risk and RI poor performing. The unit also conducts annual short courses on immunization and surveillance targeted at each new cohort of Nigeria FELTP residents and selected partner organizations. The short course focuses on Polio Eradication Initiative (PEI), RI, surveillance and outbreak response (OBR) as well as measles elimination. This training holds for two weeks and comprises adult learning techniques such as audio-visual presentations, group works and practical field experiences. The annual training aims to build a critical mass of human resources that will support the country in the drive to eradicate polio, improve routine immunization coverage and enhance surveillance for vaccine-preventable diseases. Since the inception of the training in 2012, over six hundred (600) participants were trained. All trained participants have actively supported supplemental and routine immunization activities in the country, especially in hard-to-reach locations, by providing high-level technical supervision as management support teams.
Furthermore, the training unit supports the RI, DHIS 2, surveillance and Malaria units in the conduct of training at the state and LGA levels to strengthen RI, surveillance, and malaria elimination strategies. The unit also collaborates with the National Training Working Group of the NPHCDA in the initiation, planning and implementation of national training program across the various thematic areas.