Health Challenges and Systems

Infectious and Non-Communicable Diseases

Health is the backbone of a nation. Sub-Saharan Africa bears a disproportionate burden of ill-health, and health remains largely under-funded by many governments in the region. In 2010, HIV/AIDS claimed up to 1.2 million lives in sub-Saharan Africa and a further 22.9 million people, including 2.3 million children, were living with HIV/AIDS. The region is also now increasingly threatened by non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as cancer, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and chronic obstructive respiratory disease.



Current Project


INDEPTH Vaccination Project (IVP) – infectious and NCD

Program: Health Challenges and Systems

This is a four-year multisite research project being implemented in 6 Health and Demographic Surveillance Systems (HDSS) sites within the INDEPTH network; building on previous vaccine studies done in Guinea Bissau, West Africa.

The studies have consistently shown that the main childhood interventions with vaccines and micronutrients used by the international health community have the so-called non-specific effects (NSE), i.e. effects which are not explained by the prevention of the targeted infection or deficiency. These effects are often sex-differential.

WHO recommends schedules for delivery of vaccines and micronutrients which are often not followed. Many children receive vaccines out-of-sequence; e.g. BCG simultaneously with diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis vaccine (DTP), DTP with measles vaccine (MV), or DTP after MV. Such variations have very different NSE on overall mortality though it has not yet been recognized

The project aims to set up systems to monitor and assess the impact of vaccinations and other interventions for both boys and girls in the Nairobi HDSS. The project will also determine the risk factors for delay in uptake of childhood interventions with emphasis on possible differences between boys and girls. The project will also examine the causes of out-of-sequence vaccinations.



  • BANDIM Health Project – Guinea Bissau
  • Statens Serum Institute (SSI) – Denmark
  • Navrongo HDSS – Ghana
  • Kitampo HDSS – Ghana
  • Nouna HDSS – Burkina Faso
  • Ballabgarh – India


Project Period

  •  January 2010 to August 2014

Project Funders

  • danida

    Danida is the term used for Denmark’s development cooperation, which is an area of activity under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark.Denmark’s development policy aims to combat fighting poverty through promotion of human rights...

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