The Clinton Health Access Initiative, Inc. (CHAI) is a global health organization committed to saving lives and reducing the burden of disease in low-and middle-income countries, while strengthening the capabilities of governments and the private sector in those countries to create and sustain high-quality health systems that can succeed without our assistance. For more information, please visit: http://www.clintonhealthaccess.org
CHAI is an Equal Opportunity Employer, and is committed to providing an environment of fairness, and mutual respect where all applicants have access to equal employment opportunities. CHAI values diversity and inclusion, and recognizes that our mission is best advanced by the leadership and contributions of people with diverse experience, backgrounds, and culture.
CHAI, in partnership with its India affiliate William J Clinton Foundation (WJCF), works in close partnership with and under the guidance of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) at the Central and States' levels on an array of high priority initiatives aimed at improving health outcomes. Currently, CHAI works across projects to expand access to quality care and treatment for HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis-C (HCV), tuberculosis, cancer, and immunization.
Through the prioritized implementation of high impact public health interventions like immunization, access to safe drinking water, improved neo-natal and infant care and access to effective treatment for pneumonia and diarrhoea, India has reduced its infant mortality rate (IMR) from 89 in 1990 to 32 in 2017 and Under-five Mortality Rate (U5MR) from 126 in 1990 to 39 in 2017. India’s Universal Immunization Programme (UIP) is one of the largest public immunization programmes in the world. It caters to 26 million infants and 30 million pregnant women annually through 9 million planned sessions. The programme provides access to vaccines against 11 Vaccine Preventable Diseases (VPDs) at the national level and against two VPDs vaccines at the sub-national level.
Under the strong leadership of the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (MoHFW) and state governments, the entire immunization ecosystem has demonstrated proactive commitment for achieving universal immunization coverage in the country in recent years. Strategic projects in this direction include but are not limited to introduction of new vaccines, rolling out of data systems, strengthening of national immunization centres such as Immunization Technical Support Unit (ITSU) and National Cold Chain & Vaccines Management Resource Centre (NCCVMRC) and successful piloting of initiatives for bolstering health worker capacity building. Coupled with these initiatives, MoHFW launched Mission Indradhanush (MI) in 2014 and Intensified Mission Indradhanush (iMI) in 2017: catch up and system strengthening campaigns to target underserved, vulnerable, resistant, and inaccessible populations. iMI has resulted in an increase of 6.7% in full immunization coverage (FIC) after the first two phases in prioritized districts. However, the government and partners recognize the need for further efforts in this direction to reduce the 802,000 infant deaths and 989,000 under-five deaths that occur annually in the country.
Bihar, the third most populous state of the country, contributes to about 11% (2.9 million) of India’s annual birth cohort of 26 million children. Government of Bihar has shown great commitment for increasing immunization coverage, wherein the immunization coverage (FIC) has almost doubled to 61.1% (NFHS) in 2015-16 from 2005-06. Additionally, recent surveys post targeted catch up campaigns like Mission Indradhanush (MI) and Intensified Mission Indradhanush (IMI) show an average increase of 15 percentage points in immunization coverage across Bihar’s 16 IMI districts from 56.5% in 2015-16 (NFHS) to 71.8% in 2018. Over the years, inequities in immunization coverage across socio-economic groups in the state have reduced, but are still high. Government of Bihar (GoB) aims to achieve 90% full immunization coverage (FIC) across the state, sustain the coverage across age group cohorts and strengthen health systems for improving long term immunization outcomes.
WJCF’s immunization program supports the MoHFW’s UIP at the national level and in the focus states of Madhya Pradesh, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh. The programme provides catalytic support to NCCVMRC, based out of National Institute of Health and Family Welfare (NIHFW), on national projects for improving availability and efficacy of vaccines and efficiency of vaccines systems. The programme also supports national and state governments on broader operational aspects such as planning, capacity building and systems improvements for immunization service delivery.
In Bihar, the programme will provide catalytic support to GoB for achieving and sustaining 90% FIC. The programme will help in setting up effective program management & review mechanisms, identifying pressing challenges as well as best practices in RI, enhancing impact of well performing interventions, developing & deploying effective solutions to pressing challenges and undertaking multi-year planning for long term immunization systems strengthening.