Epidemiologist, leader of Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Vaccine Access Center’s immunization support efforts in Nigeria
Dr. Chizoba Wonodi is a public health physician with over twenty-seven years’ research and program experience in Africa, Asia and America. She serves as the Nigeria Country Director at the International Vaccine Access Centre (IVAC). In this role, she leads an important portfolio of work on technical assistance, implementation research and policy advocacy to improve immunization service delivery and primary health care systems in the country. She is currently the principal investigator for a Gates Foundation-funded project to improve immunization uptake by sending SMS messages to inform, educate and remind caregivers of their child’s vaccinations. Implemented as a cluster randomized trial, this intervention – the Immunization Reminder and Information SMS System – is intentionally large in scope to demonstrate how innovations like SMS reminders can be taken to scale. In keeping with her focus on public health practice, Dr. Wonodi founded the Women Advocates for Vaccine Access (WAVA), a coalition of Civil Society Organizations in Nigeria advocating for increased uptake of vaccines and for sustainable financing of immunization programs. WAVA serves as the secretariat for the national platform, the Expanded Civil Society Initiative for Immunization (ECSII) in Nigeria. At the global level, Dr. Wonodi holds the vice chair position of the Gavi CSO Platform Steering Committee, a body that coordinates Civil Societies active in immunization.