The Ghana health service has expanded it programme on immunization since 1978 with the aim of providing immunization service for all children under 5 in the country to reduce the magnitude of vaccine-preventable diseases. Immunization coverage has been increasing over the years and in 2014, immunization coverage was about 77%. Although coverage is increasing, there are some challenges with defaulting and demand creation. The use of the child’s welfare card has been the only means to monitor child immunization. However, this card does not take into consideration children who default, it only records when a child is immunized. The card is only for the caregiver with no records for community members or leaders to trace defaulters. GCNH together with the three implementing members of the GAVI Type B developed an innovative tool called “Community-based Register
The Community-based Register is a tool that captures all the immunization records of the community mostly for children under 5. The register is indeed an innovative tool because of its dual purpose. It tracks defaulters at the community level and, also used as a means of recording all births in the community at a particular period of time. Due to the innovative nature of the community-based register, Ghana Health Service quickly accepted it as a tool to complement the work of their health workers who visit the communities for immunization activities.
The register is kept by the community health volunteer who resides in the community and updates the records as and when a child is born in the community and when CWC occurs. GCNH trained volunteers in all its operational communities to use the register.
One of the trained volunteers from Anyinasin community in Eastern region testified that the use of the community-based register has contributed to increased CWC attendance in the community and as a result, 25 children that had defaulted were tracked and immunized.