Major Area: Young Child Survival and Development
Despite reasonable national coverage of the routine Expanded Programme for Immunization (EPI) in Bangladesh, there were wide gaps between high and low coverage districts: some districts were identified as chronically low performing and hence contributing to the stagnated routine immunization coverage at national level. Using survey data, 15 low-performing districts were identified for implementation of the Reach Every District (RED) strategy, supported by UNICEF since 2006. The strategy addresses common obstacles to increasing immunization coverage such as poor quality district planning, quality of service delivery, inadequate monitoring and supervision of health workers. Empowering districts to plan, implement and monitor activities is a key feature. The 2010 Coverage Evaluation Survey revealed a substantial and sustained increase in EPI coverage in the RED districts that largely eliminates geographical disparities. The RED approach has also inspired UNICEF and the United Nations in Bangladesh to develop the intersectoral district strategies within the UN Development Assistant Framework (UNDAF) to reduce inequity among districts.
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