Global Immunization Division
CDC supports a secondee to the WHO African Region’s Accelerated Immunization Initiative (AII), within the Inter-Country Support Team, East and Southern Africa (IST/ESA) based in Harare, Zimbabwe. This position serves as the lead in providing technical support and coordination for 20 member states within IST/ESA on the elimination of measles, the control of rubella/ congenital rubella syndrome and maternal and neonatal tetanus. Activities at the IST level include promoting coordinated partner approaches, implementation of established strategies and policies, adapting guidelines to respond to country-specific needs, conducting and contributing to capacity building activities, and developing country-specific work plans.
In alignment with the Global Vaccine Action Plan (2011-2020) and the African Regional Immunization Strategic Plan (2014-2020) all member states in the ESA region have established a goal for Maternal and Neonatal Tetanus (MNT) elimination and for measles elimination by 2020. The IST position supports member states in monitoring progress towards achieving the elimination goals and implementing activities to accelerate progress to meet the goals. In 2019, with the exception of South Sudan, all other countries in the ESA region have successfully been validated to have achieved MNT elimination. Significant progress continues towards measles elimination and rubella control in the region, through the implementation of the WHO/United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) recommended strategies. In 2019, Comoros, Ethiopia, Madagascar, Mozambique, Uganda, South Sudan and Zambia experienced measles outbreaks, mainly due to persistently insufficient population immunity in different age groups or hard-to-reach populations.