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Niger, a landlocked country in West Africa, is geographically diverse, with the Sahara desert in the north giving way to Savannah in the south.  Home to more than 26 million people, Niger faces development challenges and ranks low on the Human Development Index. The country’s health system struggles with limited facilities, a shortage of health workers and high costs, creating significant health barriers for its citizens. In terms of immunization services, challenges include human resource management, immunization service delivery and financial management. The Government of Niger is working closely with international and national partners to strengthen the health system and ensure effective access to vaccines, and ASKAAN is committed to contributing to these efforts.

Routine Immunization Strengthening Program (RISP)

In the context of the RISP project, ASKAAN is committed to establishing an Expanded Vaccination Program, in collaboration with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Aliko Dangote Foundation, and the local government. Over a period of four years, our team is implementing an effective and sustainable routine immunization program in three targeted regions in Niger (Maradi, Zinder, and Diffa). The overarching objective is to ensure availability and accessibility of quality routine immunization services through government ownership and accountability. ASKAAN’s main activities include capacity building at various healthcare system levels, monitoring of vaccine availability and distribution, overseeing vaccination sessions, and designing a tailored community engagement strategy. Additionally, the project emphasizes the integration of gender perspectives throughout its design, implementation, and evaluation phases, incorporating gender-specific approaches into routine vaccination sessions and mobile outreach activities.

Direct Facility Financing (DFF)

The DFF project, implemented in partnership with GAVI, the Vaccine Alliance and the local government, focuses on implementing a decentralized financing mechanism to improve immunization coverage in Niger. ASKAAN aims to increase immunization coverage and reduce the number of children missing doses, with a particular focus on marginalized communities facing accessibility challenges. The project has achieved significant milestones, including the development of an innovative decentralized financing model that can directly allocate resources for immunization activities down to the level of integrated health centers. The project also includes a robust community engagement strategy throughout the planning, implementation and monitoring phases of immunization activities. In addition, the project has established a monitoring system to track the implementation of the decentralized financing mechanism and measure vaccination performance, coverage and quality of services provided.