March 22, 2017
The Drum BeatFacets of Polio Communication - The Drum Beat 731
March 22, 2017
In this issue:
REACHING - through strategies such as: Partnership, Mobilisation, Technology
RECORDING - Tackling HBR Stock-outs, Collecting and Managing Data
RESEARCHING - Uptake Factors, Parents' Communication Needs, M&E Webinar
REPORTING - Capacitating Journalists, Journalists Take a Stand
REFLECTING - An Independent Lens, Where to Go, Post Polio?
READING (RESOURCES) - Polio C4D Nexus, Frontline Eradication Tales, How to Talk Vaccines
From The Communication Initiative Network - where communication and media are central to social and economic development.
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  • 1. Further, Faster, Fairer: Reaching Every Last Child with Immunisation

    Noting that every child has the right to immunisation as part of his or her right to health, this Save the Children report argues that domestic policy and resource choices must ensure that immunisation and other essential health services reach every last child, working towards Universal Health Coverage (UHC). The report explores global factors that affect countries' ability to reach children in communities that are systematically excluded from progress. It concludes with a series of recommendations, such as: Empower and engage communities and civil society organisations to engage in immunisation planning, delivery, monitoring, and accountability mechanisms. [Sep 2016]

  • 2. Reaching the Unreached with Polio Vaccine and Other Child Survival Interventions through Partnership with Military in Angola

    by Lemma Fekadu, Joseph Okeibunor, Peter Nsubuga, et al.
    Conflict and insecurity can play a major role in precipitating polio outbreaks. A Partnership with the Angolan Army health service (AAHS) was one of the strategies that the Polio Eradication Initiative (PEI) introduced into the country to support the polio vaccination campaigns in insecure and hard-to-reach zones. "Using this partnership it was possible to reach a significant number of children in insecure and hard to reach areas with polio vaccine and other child survival interventions. The military partnership also contributed in increasing the demand and addressing rejection for the polio vaccine." [Jun 2016]

  • 3. Lao PDR's Polio Outbreak and Response: C4D efforts in reaching the last child

    by Ruchin Sharma
    This blog describes the polio outbreak and response in Lao PDR, which was characterised by "persistent challenges in some geographical areas and among some ethnic groups". Actions for the remainder of 2016 included "the strengthening of the surveillance around the initial symptoms of Acute Flaccid Paralysis (a weakness of the muscles and the muscles of respiration) especially in the 'silent provinces' and sustained, intensified communication and social mobilisation efforts to engaging and ultimately reach the unreached target populations..." [Apr 2016]

  • 4. Polio, Meet Mobile: Targeting the Final 1% of Global Polio Cases with RapidPro

    by Kellan Alexander
    This blog describes an information and communication technology (ICT) project that centres on the potential of mobile phones as a point of connection with people in communities most at risk for polio infection. The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) polio innovation team researched and tested various services that would allow them to build SMS (text messaging) and interactive voice response (IVR) applications to establish automated bidirectional communication at scale. RapidPro is a platform that a software shop called Nyaruka open sourced in partnership with UNICEF. TextIt, a hosted version of that software, allows the UNICEF team to build flowcharts ("Flows") that disseminate and collect actionable information geared toward improving vaccination awareness. [Jun 2015]

  • See also:
    * The RED Strategy
    * Every Last Child [Film]
    * Reaching Everyone, Everywhere with Life-Saving Vaccines
    by Margaret Chan, Chris Elias, Anthony Fauci, Anthony Lake, and Seth Berkley [Lancet, Feb 2017]
  • 5. Reported National Level Stock-Outs of Home-Based Records - A Quiet Problem for Immunization Programmes That Needs Attention

    by David W. Brown and Marta Gacic-Dobo
    Home-based records (HBRs) are printed records used to record immunisation and receipt of other primary care services that are intended to encourage a partnership between the healthcare worker and the caregiver around the care of the child. This report describes the occurrence of nationally reported HBR stock-outs and HBR financing patterns during 2014 and 2015 across 195 countries. "The occurrence of HBR stock-outs remains a concern, particularly in Gavi-eligible countries introducing new vaccines where dedicated funding is received for revising and printing new recording tools, including HBRs." [Jan 2017]

  • 6. Data for Management: It's Not Just Another Report

    by Wendy Prosser
    This report in the VillageReach policy paper series "Vaccine Supply Chains: Reaching The Final 20" (that is, the final 20% of children without access to vaccines) focuses on the many challenges in data collection and quality, discussing the global shift towards data visualisation and utilisation for improved decision-making. The paper presents an in-depth case study of the informed push system for vaccines in Mozambique as related to data for management tools and processes. Also included are case studies of other innovations, including PATH's Better Immunization Data (BID) Initiative, one component of which is a peer support network designed to empower health workers to proactively seek out solutions through identified champions or high performers, and eHealth Africa (eHA)'s Geospatial Tracking for Polio Eradication, whereby each vaccinator is supplied with an Android-based mobile phone equipped with a custom tracking application. [Apr 2015]



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  • 7. Factors Affecting the Implementation of Childhood Vaccination Communication Strategies in Nigeria: A Qualitative Study

    by Afiong Oku, Angela Oyo-Ita, Claire Glenton, et al.
    Noting that communication interventions have made significant contributions to the polio eradication programme in Nigeria, this paper aims to explore factors affecting the delivery of vaccination communication in that country. It describes a qualitative study carried out as part of the Communicate to Vaccinate (COMMVAC) research project in the hope that an understanding of challenges of communicating about vaccination in Nigeria can inform policymakers during the planning of communication interventions and when adapting these to suit local contexts. [Feb 2017]

  • 8. Parents' and Informal Caregivers' Views and Experiences of Communication about Routine Childhood Vaccination: A Synthesis of Qualitative Evidence

    by Heather MR Ames, Claire Glenton, and Simon Lewin
    Also from COMMVAC, this Cochrane review was designed to explore how parents experience communication about vaccination for children under 6 years of age. As part of the review, the researchers selected 38 titles and abstracts published globally between 1998 and August 30 2016 for inclusion in the synthesis. "Parents wanted to receive specific, balanced information, communicated in a clear and simple manner, and in a language they understood about both the benefits and harms of vaccination. Parents wanted information that was relatable and tailored to their situation, including their attitudes towards vaccination. They wanted information to be presented in a variety of ways including through mHealth interventions such as text messaging..." [Feb 2017]

  • 9. Webinar: Communication for Development Monitoring & Evaluation in Polio Outbreaks

    This webinar examines monitoring and evaluating communication for development (C4D) implementation and community engagement (CE) interventions in polio outbreaks. Erma Manoncourt, Senior UNICEF Consultant, discusses issues such as the role of independent monitoring, the use of photo snapshots to capture data (and associated ethical issues), and the need for an observation checklist that is very clear on what are the priority behaviour and behavioural components that the researcher is determined to monitor. [Dec 2016]

  • See also:
    * Opening Access to Polio Communication Research - The Drum Beat 719
  • 10. Health Reporting and Lessons from the Polio Campaign in Ukraine

    Five journalist workshops and one media conference on Polio Vaccination, Lessons From the Polio Campaign in Ukraine and Other Health Issues of Public Concern were held in Ukraine between January and July 2016. The Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) organised this initiative based on its belief that the press had failed to provide effective and truthful coverage in the case of polio vaccination in Ukraine; the hope was to support better media coverage in the face of similar public health issues. Training participants produced more than 80 reports on polio vaccination for national and local radio and television broadcast, with video reports posted to the Rotary-Ukraine website #StopPolio.

  • 11. The Journalists Initiatives on Immunisation Against Polio and Improved Acceptance of the Polio Vaccine in Northern Nigeria 2007-2015

    by Charity Warigon, Pascal Mkanda, Richard Banda, et al.
    In response to setbacks the PEI faced in Kaduna state, Nigeria in 2003 and 2007 due to media campaigns in which scholars and Islamic clerics criticised polio vaccines, the WHO partnered with journalists in 2007 to form the Journalists Initiatives on Immunisation Against Polio (JAP). The purpose was not just to create awareness on public health (e.g., to develop communication initiatives aimed at highlighting polio eradication activities and the importance of immunisation in northern Nigeria) but, in addition, to get endorsements and statements from key religious and political leaders and to change the landscape to allow for more penetration among hitherto hard-to-convince populations. This report highlights the broader role played by the JAP following the partnership with the WHO and, later, with the Nigerian government and UNICEF to portray JAP as a critical change agent. [Dec 2015]

  • 12. Oversight Role of the Independent Monitoring Board of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative

    by Paul D. Rutter and Liam J. Donaldson
    Founded in 1988, the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) established its Independent Monitoring Board (IMB) in 2010 to monitor and guide its progress toward stopping polio transmission globally. This article, by members of the IMB at the time of writing, describes (though does not evaluate) the work of the group to date. As noted here, the IMB's reports have attempted to distill such issues and challenge accepted thinking. They "are not conventional committee reports. They try to use creative devices to help communicate messages as memorably as possible....To stimulate the imagination, some reports have presented the poliovirus as being akin to a sentient being that is fighting back to ensure its survival..." [Nov 2014]

  • 13. Bolstering Public Health Capacities through Global Polio Eradication

    by Nellie Bristol and Chris Millard
    As the number of polio cases declines worldwide, the Global Health Policy Center (GHPC) at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) has been focusing on the question of how to sustain useful public health assets now funded through the GPEI - both in the United States (US) and in specific countries like Ethiopia. Having discussed how polio-funded assets - e.g., relationships with existing community structures, including local Ethiopian health workers for social mobilisation planning and campaign support for polio and routine immunisation - contribute toward priorities of the Ethiopian government as well as to those of the US, the authors note that ensuring these assets' continuation will involve "challenging and complex planning and negotiations between the Ethiopian government and its health and development partners." [Feb 2016]

  • See also:
    * Global Polio Eradication Initiative: Lessons Learned and Legacy
  • 14. Rhizome

    This online resource is designed to support the endgame of global polio eradication by bringing together quality guidance, tools, and standards for polio C4D strategies. Rhizome is an initiative of the GPEI and is managed and maintained by the polio team of UNICEF.

  • 15. The Logic of Hope and Trust

    This book provides a compilation of the experiences of social mobilisers taking part in the CORE Group Polio Project (CGPP), which contributed to India's being officially declared polio free on March 27 2014. By sharing individually some of their colourful artwork (e.g., posters with drawings) and vignettes (e.g., poems), the book, conceptualised by CGPP's Rina Dey, tells the story of these frontline workers as they embarked on and eventually completed "a seemingly impossible journey that continued to strive against heavy, often cruel odds to achieve their singular objective." [2016]

  • See also:
    * Vaccine Innovation Lexicon
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This issue of The Drum Beat was written by Kier Olsen DeVries.
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