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Implementing a national policy for hepatitis B birth dose vaccination in Philippines: Lessons for improved delivery

Sobel, Howard L., Mantaring, Jacinto Blas, III, Cuevas, Francisca, Ducusin, Joyce V., Thorley, Margaret, Hennessey, Karen A., Nyunt-U, Soe
Vaccine 2011 v.29 no.5 pp. 941-945
Filipinos, Hepatitis B virus, World Health Organization, children, confidence interval, guidelines, hepatitis B, hospitals, infants, issues and policy, odds ratio, vaccination, vaccines, Philippines
BACKGROUND: An estimated seven million Filipinos (10–12% of the population) are chronically infected with hepatitis B virus (HBV). Achieving high birth dose coverage with hepatitis B vaccine is critical for achieving the World Health Organization's Western Pacific Regional goal of reducing the prevalence of chronic HBV among children 5 years of age to <2% by 2012. METHODS: Seven months after the Philippines adopted a hepatitis B vaccine birth dose policy, hospitals with the highest number of deliveries were invited to participate in an assessment of implementation of the birth dose policy. Additionally, in metro Manila birth dose coverage was estimated before and after conducting a training workshop and supervisory follow-up for practitioners conducting home deliveries or deliveries at lying-in clinics. RESULTS: Of the country's largest 150 hospitals in terms of authorized bed capacity, 85 (56%) were included in this assessment. These hospitals had 55,719 deliveries during July–September 2007. Of these, 54% infants had a documented birth dose; however, only 22% were vaccinated within 24h of delivery. Having a copy of the hepatitis B vaccine vaccination policy (prevalence odds ratio [pOR]=4.7, 95% confidence interval [CI]=1.2–18.0), having standing orders pOR=4.8, 95% CI=1.3–18.1 and providing training pOR=18.9, 95% CI=5.3–67.0 were associated with >50% birth dose coverage in a hospital. In metro-Manila, regardless of place of birth, the training workshop and supervisory follow-up significantly improved hepatitis B vaccine administration within 24h after birth, increasing from 19% before to 74% after the training workshop and follow-up. CONCLUSIONS: Experience in the Philippines showed that actions by national, regional and health facility policy makers such as establishing national policies, distributing detailed and specific guidelines, conducting effective training and supervision, and having hospital standing orders substantially increased hepatitis B vaccine birth dose coverage.