Where every child vaccinated is a building block

Reviewing the MVMH tool with community members
Chandradeepa is a remote village in district Jamtara in the state of Jharkhand. Ms. Esther Das, an auxiliary nurse midwife (ANM), caters to primary health care needs of the Chandradeepa community. She has been working in this post since 2006 which involves immunizing pregnant mothers and children.

In February 2014, at an event  to celebrate India's three years of freedom from polio, the Government of India recognized Ms. Das as the district’s best performer (ANM cadre) for her contributions to the polio immunization program.

Various coverage evaluation surveys and publications note that a significant number of children are missing immunization (left-outs and drop-outs). However, the reports do not pinpoint the communities of these missing children, so communities are not aware of the immunization status of their children and do not participate in the immunization program.

By using the tool, I am able to count all the infants/children in my community with their immunization status on a single chart. By just looking at the MVMH tool, I get to know the number of children missing immunization," says Ms. Das
Since April 2011, Ms. Das has been using a tool called “My Village My Home” (MVMH) to enlist and track beneficiaries in her village. The tool allows parents to track their children’s immunization progress compared with other children in the same community.

The tool represents each vaccine dose administered to a child as a brick in a home. As more children get vaccinated and complete their due vaccinations, more bricks are filled in, thus strengthening the home, which depicts the village. The tool is posted in a public place (Anganwadi center) in the community.

During 2011, MCHIP (the USAID-funded Maternal and Child Health Integrated Program) introduced the MVMH tool in 28 Anganwadi centers in Jamtara and Deoghar districts to capture and follow the immunization status of all children born in the village in a year (one birth cohort) up to the age of 24 months. Use of the MVMH tool yielded good results, with improved coverage for all antigens during the prospcetive study conducted in April 2012–13 (BCG-96%, OPV1-93%, DPT1-94%, HEP1-93.9%), and only 1.9% left unimmunized. Also, national and state-level program managers found the MVMH tool was a good way to track beneficiaries for immunization.

Following the results achieved in the field, and sustained advocacy by MCHIP at the state level, the Government of Jharkhand decided to implement the tool across all immunization session sites in the state.