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Reaching zero-dose and under-immunised children in East New Britain, Papua New Guinea

This project aims to improve population-based planning and healthcare delivery in East New Britain Province to increase immunisation coverage. As of 2021, the province's immunisation coverage for Penta1 and measles was 72% and 54%, respectively. Efforts to improve coverage have been hindered by a shortage of healthcare workers, financial constraints, inadequate planning, insufficient surveillance, and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

To identify children in East New Britain who have not received any routine immunisations (zero-dose) or who have received only some of their routine immunisations (under-immunised), and to improve service delivery and community uptake of routine immunisations in areas with a high prevalence of un(der)-immunised children.


This project will be conducted in two phases. In the first phase, geospatial mapping will be used to identify areas in East New Britain where children have not received any immunisations or have received only some of their routine immunisations. This will be done by triangulating sero-surveillance data assessed using dried blood spots, with secondary data, including immunisation registers and population estimates. Community engagement activities will also be conducted to identify barriers and facilitators to childhood immunisation programs in East New Britain, assess the impact of COVID-19 on service delivery, and outline communities’ preferred methods of routine immunisation delivery.

The second phase of the project will focus on increasing routine immunisation coverage in East New Britain by reducing the number of children who miss routine immunisation in priority areas. This will be achieved by using initial findings to strengthen micro-planning, outreach, and community engagement.

Integral to increased immunisation coverage and strengthened healthcare delivery in under-immunised communities is improved population-based planning. This project aims to address supply and demand-side barriers to increase routine immunisation coverage in East New Britain by working in close partnership with both community members and provincial and national government staff, and the Papua New Guinea Institute of Medical Research.

Milena Dalton (1)

Milena Dalton

Contact Milena Dalton for more information about this project.

Stephanie Vaccher

Doctor Stefanie Vacher

Contact Doctor Stefanie Vacher for more information about this project.



  • Supported by the Australian Government through the Australian NGO Cooperation Program (ANCP), ARIA–Regional Immunisation Support and Engagement (ARIA-RISE), and the Drakensberg Trust

Partners +

  • East New Britain Provincial Health Authority
  • PNG Institute of Medical Research
  • PNG National Department of Health


Meet the project team. Together, we are translating research into better health, for all.