EMPHNET focuses on supporting countries’ efforts to enhance routine immunization programs in detecting and responding to outbreaks of Vaccine Preventable Diseases (VPDs) such as polio and cVDPVs, and ultimately reduce the mortality and morbidity rates associated with these diseases. This support is aimed at assisting countries in achieving the goals of eradicating polio and eliminating other VPDs.
Afghanistan is one of the countries that have faced historical challenges in their immunization programs. These challenges have been further compounded by the country's political context. To address this issue, the Ministry of Public Health, with support from EMPHNET, proposed an incentivization mechanism to improve the quality of immunization services and increase coverage at the grassroots level in targeted provinces.
The incentivization mechanism involves offering performance-based incentives, such as money or material goods, to immunization frontline workers, including vaccinators and provincial supervisors, who achieve predetermined performance targets. EMPHNET, in close coordination with the Ministry and the National Expanded Program on Immunization (NEPI), developed Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and implementation guidelines for the incentivization process.
To ensure the incentivization mechanism is effectively implemented, EMPHNET and the NEPI staff organized a National Incentivization Workshop for EPI managers and supervisors of 34 provinces in Afghanistan. A total of 39 EPI managers and supervisors were oriented during the workshop, all of whom were involved in the Provincial EPI Management team. The workshop aimed to equip managers with the knowledge and skills needed to effectively implement the incentivization mechanism.
The incentivization project has started and is expected to have several benefits, including improving motivation, morale, and productivity, leading to increased immunization coverage and decreased morbidity and mortality.