Innovative Use of Surveillance Data to Harness Political Will to Accelerate Measles Elimination: Experience From Guangxi, China
The major challenge for measles elimination is to harness sufficient political will to provide the necessary financial and human resources. This is particularly relevant for local governments (at county and township levels in China) and communities that generally have not accepted measles as a serious health burden and thus have not made its prevention a high priority. An effort has been made to use surveillance data to harness political will and overcome or mitigate the shortage of resources in the impoverished province of Guangxi, one of China's 31 administrative divisions. A comprehensive information system collecting data pertaining to Expanded Program on Immunization (EPI-info) was refined to align with China's political system and translate international and national commitments into sustainable local actions. The EPI-info has proved an effective tool in identifying high-risk areas, strengthening routine immunization services, conducting mass measles immunization campaigns, and catalyzing capacity building at both county and local community levels. We outline the principles and operational features of the EPI-info and the rationale and steps taken to refine it.