Post Disaster Immunization Response in Haiti
After the Jan 12, 2010 earthquake, the National Immunization Program (DPEV, from the French acronym), with support from the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization and UNICEF, developed a National Post-Disaster Vaccination Plan. The main objective of this plan was to minimize the occurrence of vaccine-preventable diseases in the aftermath of the earthquake. This plan included immediate provision of Td/TT vaccine and tetanus anti-toxin to persons injured during the earthquake and those undergoing emergency surgeries, including amputations. It also included vaccination against diphtheria, tetanus (and whooping cough for children), measles and rubella, the provision of vitamin A supplements and albendazole, as follows:
- Children aged 6 weeks to 8 months – DTP
- Children aged 9 months to 7 years – DTP, MR and vitamin A supplements
- Persons aged 8 years and more – Td
- All children aged >=2 years – Albendazole
- Goal: Vaccination of displaced population living in temporary settlements in disaster affected communes (second administrative level or district equivalent).
- These include Port-au-Prince, Petion Ville, Croix de Bouquet, Delmas (including Tabarre and Cite Soleil), and Carrefour in the Metropolitan Area; Leogane, Gressier, Grand Goave and Petit Goave in the Ouest Department and Jacmel in the Sudest Department.
- The target population was initially estimated at around 1.4 million people (around 250,000 children aged 6 weeks to 7 years) living in over 300 sites, using data from the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs of the United Nations (OCHA).
- These estimates are changing as responsible for immunization are conducting pre-vaccination site visits
- The estimates by age group, were done applying the age distribution in the general population (1.86% for 6 weeks-8 months; 15.71% 9 months -7 yrs; and 82.43% 8yrs +).
- One of the biggest challenges has been determining the target population, mainly due to:
- Transient nature of some of the population
- The behavior of the persons living in the sites (adults go out during the day)
- The disappearance of originally identified sites and appearance of spontaneous new sites in several localities
- Vaccination mop-up activities are targeting the sites with the largest numbers of unvaccinated persons.
- This phase is ongoing and expected to be finished by mid-April. The table below shows progress as of 20 March 2010. Data entry is ongoing.