Vaccination & Child Survival

In 2008-2009 the INDEPTH Network Working Group on Vaccination and Child Survival secured funding to conduct multi-site studies for a project entitled 'Optimizing the impact and cost-effectiveness of child health intervention programmes of vaccines and micronutrients in low-income countries ', or 'Optimunise' for short. This involved three INDEPTH HDSS centres in Nouna (Burkina Faso), Navrongo (Ghana) and Bandim (Guinea Bissau). The Group held its third consortium meeting in January, 2013 in Bandim, Guinea Bissau with sixteen participants attending from the three participating centres. At a further meeting in Accra, Ghana in June, the group drafted a paper for publication entitled 'The non-specific effects of vaccines and other childhood interventions: The contribution of INDEPTH Health and Demographic Surveillance Systems.' The group also held a side meeting at the INDEPTH Scientific Conference in Johannesburg.

The Optimunise research has so far shown that an early measles vaccine protects neonates against hospitalizations, especially for respiratory infections. It has also shown that a single dose of BCG vaccine has a significant protective effect on neonates.