Since 2002, IMA World Health has built and supported integrated, holistic and sustainable health systems that increase access to quality health care in fragile countries, including what is needed to support robust immunization programs. IMA World Health works with local governments and other partners to provide quality health facility- and community- based immunization services, specializing in vaccine delivery, acceptance and uptake, safety monitoring and monitoring systems.

Vaccine service delivery

We address the human, financial, social and physical capital needs of a health system to improve its vaccine service delivery and universal access at scale with an emphasis on women and youth. We strengthen the capacities of a country’s health workforce to safely procure, manage and deliver vaccines through training, mentoring, and the provision of equipment and other resources, including for the cold chain.

Vaccine acceptance and uptake

We collaborate with ministries of health, health care workers, local leaders and partners to conduct social listening, promote education, dispel misinformation, uplift trusted local vaccine champions to support advocacy and fuel demand, and develop and execute on risk communication and community engagement (RCCE) plans.

Safety monitoring

We work closely with ministries of health to ensure a system is in place to respond to adverse events and other unanticipated outcomes during immunization programming. We train health workers and community drug distributors (CDDs) to identify, treat (or refer for treatment) and report to the World Health Organization (WHO) and drug donation program any severe adverse effects (SAEs). Public service announcements are also utilized to encourage anyone to report an adverse event following immunization (AEFI) should they experience one.

Monitoring systems

We help governments and health facilities utilize health information and reporting software, such as DHIS2, to effectively monitor program implementation, allocate resources, and make data-driven decisions to improve vaccine service delivery. 

Ernest Chirubala receives his first round of the COVID-19 vaccine from Nurse Kalinda

Ernest Chirubala receives his first round of the COVID-19 vaccine from Nurse Kalinda at a health center in Goma, DRC.

Country Highlight

In the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), IMA World Health has supported the Ministry of Health and local partners in implementing immunization programs since 2002. Our vaccine initiatives have reached more than 8 million people and have helped maintain approximately 98% coverage for child immunizations. We also purchased and installed over 500 direct drive solar refrigerators and freezers, boosting regional vaccine stocks and ensuring appropriate vaccine transport. 

Project Highlights
MOMENTUM Integrated Health Resilience (MIHR)

Under the USAID-funded MOMENTUM Integrated Health Resilience (MIHR), IMA World Health leads a global effort to accelerate the reduction of preventable maternal and child death and disease burden in fragile settings. MIHR is providing technical assistance and capacity building to support national institutions and local partners to reduce the number of zero-dose and under-immunized children. In the DRC, MIHR collaborated with the Ministry of Health (MoH), the USAID Routine Immunization Transformation & Equity (MRITE) initiative, and other partners to support and introduce the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine in North Kivu. MIHR worked closely with the MoH and local partners to develop an Emergency Communication Plan to promote acceptance and uptake of the COVID-19 vaccine in North Kivu among the MoH's priority target populations. MIHR conducted rapid mobile/online surveys and interviews with health care workers, MoH personnel, and community influencers to assess their knowledge, training needs, sources of information, acceptance, and perceived risks of the COVID-19 vaccine. MIHR also supported the MoH in monitoring and analyzing social listening as well as in identifying and utilizing trusted local vaccination champions to manage misinformation, develop an RCCE plan, and drive local vaccine demand. Additionally, MIHR strengthened the surveillance of AEFI to enhance the safety of vaccine use and maintain public confidence in the vaccination program.

Rural Health Systems Strengthening Project (ASSR) | Access to Primary Healthcare Project (ASSP)

Between 2012 and 2021, ASSP and its follow-on project ASSR improved the health of women, adolescents and children through support for disease prevention, delivery of health care and health systems strengthening in the DRC. With funding from the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO), the projects supported an estimated 9.7 million people across 52 health zones in five provinces, strengthening the health system by focusing on priority interventions such as the treatment of malaria, pneumonia and diarrhea; nutrition; obstetric and neonatal care; family planning; water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH); and immunization. Because measles outbreaks are frequent and a leading killer of young children in the DRC, IMA World Health vaccinated more than 2 million children under the age of five against measles throughout the duration of ASSP and ASSR. During ASSP, IMA also led the implementation of the second iteration of the District Health Information System (DHIS2) in the project's 52 health zones. We supported everything from hardware installation to training in use and maintenance to the development of national health information policies. At the end of the project, 99% of health facilities were using DHIS2 to produce their SNIS reports. IMA investments in the health information system design and data collection yielded marked improvement in data quality scores, with 39 health zones obtaining a score of 80% or more.  

Rapid Results Health Project (RRHP)

In partnership with South Sudan’s Ministry of Health and with funding from the World Bank, IMA led the Rapid Results Health Project from 2013 to 2018 to increase access to comprehensive family planning and reproductive health services to over 3 million people living in the conflict-affected Greater Upper Nile and Greater Jonglei regions. As part of the project, IMA designed, and co-led with the MoH, the annual “Dry Season Campaigns” to provide routine and catch-up immunization to tens of thousands of children. 

Act to End NTDs-East (ACT-EAST)

Funded by USAID and led by RTI International, the Act to End NTDs | East project assisted national neglected tropical disease (NTD) control programs to eliminate and mitigate NTDs. IMA collaborated with Tanzania’s MoH to conduct mass drug administrations (MDA) in 19 regions and 134 districts throughout Tanzania, training more than 3,400 front line health workers, 8,900 teachers and 35,700 community drug distributors to support treatment for over 20 million individuals annually. The trainings emphasized preventing, identifying, and reporting SAEs. In Haiti, IMA supported the Haiti Neglected Tropical Disease Control Program (HNTDCP) to conduct MDA in 22 communes across the country aimed at lymphatic filariasis (LF) elimination and soil-transmitted helminthiasis (STH) control. IMA tracked progress toward LF elimination through transmission assessment surveys (TAS). Based on TAS results, 122 out of 140 communes are under surveillance and no longer require MDA (87%) for LF. IMA and partner staff also utilized digital hardware and software—from smartphones and tablets to Geographic Information Systems (GIS)—to make near real-time, data-informed decisions for optimum project implementation. 

Promoting COVID-19 Vaccine Equity through Faith-Based Networks in Africa (CoV-FaB)

Throughout Sub-Sahara Africa, IMA is strengthening the capacity of Christian Health Association networks (CHAs) to deliver the COVID-19 vaccine in their respective countries. Through its CoV-FaBiv project, IMA supported CHAs in eight countries (Zimbabwe, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Liberia, Cote d’Ivoire, Zambia, Madagascar, and Central African Republic) to administer vaccines, conduct outreach, train faith leaders, and improve infection control and prevention protocols (ICP). Over an eight month period between 2022 and 2023, the CHAs’ member institutions administered 1.4 million vaccines.