Course: Problem Solving for Immunization Programs
Problem Solving for Immunization Programs
A health worker immunizes an infant in Nepal.
Countries around the world - even those at war - are collaborating to ensure that children under the age of five don't die from diseases for which vaccines are available. In the past twenty years, global vaccine coverage has surpassed eighty percent, and a second disease, polio, is nearly eradicated. In the United States, coverage rates are even higher, and vaccine-preventible diseases are now rare. Never have so many resources been focused on immunization - yet problems remain. Additional, highly effective vaccines have been developed but still do not reach the majority of children. More worrisome, currently high immunization rates may be unsustainable for a number of reasons.
This material will cover immunization basics and survey the public health, sociological, and economic literature, identifying and analyzing common problems using a standard problem-solving approach. Topics will span developed and developing countries and will include vaccine-delivery strategies, program management and supervision, epidemiological surveillance, community participation, and disease eradication. Students will analyze actual vaccination data using the U.S. Center for Disease Control's CASA software program. Once you've completed the course, you should have gained the necessary tools to identify and formulate innovative solutions to common problems faced by immunization program managers and policymakers.