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The Drum Beat - 668 - A Brief Chronology of a Polio Communication Research Initiative

The CI together with partners has been engaged in research to develop evidence-led strategies to leverage household demand for immunisation services in Nigeria through a pilot research study on the determinants of household attitudes toward polio vaccination and wider routine immunisation in three states of northern Nigeria. We hope that the results of this research, as well as its methodological approach, will be relevant to country- and local-level strategy formation and decision-making on conduct of the GPEI and strengthening immunisation in other regions and countries where polio is still endemic.

This edition of The Drum Beat provides a brief history of the involvement of The CI and others, what the study seeks to achieve, and where we are in the process. Read more...

Featured

"'In the beginning people felt afraid. They started to ask us who we are,' says Muhammed, a local volunteer working to immunise children against polio in Syria's Al-Hasakah governate, where heavy fighting has taken place. 'I have taken the vaccine myself in front of the families, just to show them it is safe.'"

The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) Chad Country Office released this edition of its quarterly newsletter to announce that, thanks to rigorous polio campaigning, the country has achieved a polio-free status for 2 consecutive years.

"The introduction of any new vaccine into routine vaccination programs requires a complex set of activities including: mobilization and leverage of political will and country leadership; advocacy and communications; advanced planning...; broad engagement of stakeholders...; alignment of staff and resources; and, allocation of sufficient and...

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Research and Strategy

"'In the beginning people felt afraid. They started to ask us who we are,' says Muhammed, a local volunteer working to immunise children against polio in Syria's Al-Hasakah governate, where heavy fighting has taken place. 'I have taken the vaccine myself in front of the families, just to show them it is safe.'"

The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) Chad Country Office released this edition of its quarterly newsletter to announce that, thanks to rigorous polio campaigning, the country has achieved a polio-free status for 2 consecutive years.

"Eradicating polio requires that millions of parents allow their children to be given dose after dose of polio vaccine. Properly engaging them is key to success."

The above insight is one of those shared in the ninth report following from the tenth meeting of the Independent Monitoring Board (IMB) of the Global Polio...

"[M]en in the community should be the target for sensitization, [as] they are the ones that determine whether a child gets vaccinated or not."

In the context of sub-optimal immunisation uptake in Africa - in particular, of the oral polio vaccine (OPV), which has led Nigeria to be one of the few remaining polio-endemic countries...

"[Polio c]ommunication reviews have established themselves as valuable components of strategic communication planning and there is strong consensus that they need to continue. However, ...there are several areas of improvement that need to be considered..."

"Why is the same vaccine accepted in one part of the world and rejected in another? Heidi Larson tells Fiona Fleck why communicating the benefits versus the risks of vaccination is just part of the battle to gain public confidence in vaccines."

"Developing the plan has brought together multiple stakeholders involved in immunization, including governments and elected officials, health professionals, academia, manufacturers, global agencies, development partners, civil society, media and the private sector, to define collectively what the immunization community wants to achieve over...

"...[D]espite huge investments in communication, refusals and unawareness of vaccine availability or importance still dominate as reasons for failing to immunise children who develop poliomyelitis."

This video from Polio Free India is a slideshow depicting the opening of the "Drops of Dialogue" polio gallery at District Hospital, Moradabad, Uttar Pradesh (UP), India created by CORE Group. As can be seen here, the event had the theme: for the children by the children: 1995 to 2014 (as symbolised by children taking part in the event). A...

For the monitoring of coverage in supplementary immunisation activities (SIAs) carried out as part of the effort to eradicate polio in Pakistan (and, thus, globally), "automated systems based on short message service (SMS) texts appear to be an attractive and relatively inexpensive option." This is the conclusion of research conducted by Aga...

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Experiences

"[Y]outh's productive engagement in the polio/RI programme will provide it with a source of continued dynamism and productive energy. This is especially so as the Polio Eradication programme is transcending into a crucial phase, as for over three years no wild polio transmission is reported in the country (India), whereas the associated '...

"Public radio show games conducted in local languages for the communities by the communities is the approach likely to promote lasting change and to support communication activities in immunization and polio eradication. Such programmes increase participation, community ownership..." - Bruno Maes, United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF)...

"On the morning of 8 November, scores of Syrian refugee children at the Omariya informal settlement in east Lebanon held a joyful demonstration amongst the tents in their camp. Accompanied by social worker from the Lebanese NGO [non-governmental organisation] Beyond, they held colourful placards with the word 'polio' in Arabic crossed out,...

As carried out in Nigeria, from early 2007 to mid-2009, IMMUNIZATIONbasics (IMMbasics) worked with government agencies at all levels (Federal, State, and Local Government Area (LGA) levels) and international partners in Bauchi and Sokoto states, with a focus on developing the human and organisational capacity needed to strengthen delivery of...

The NSEWA Project (which is a contraction of North-South-East-West Africa) is working to close the gap between health services and road safety through specially designed driver safety training and health-related programmes directed at the Road Freight Industry. Led by North Star Alliance and Fleet Forum, the NSEWA training and certificate...

The Soul City Institute for Health and Development Communication and their partners in Namibia, Malawi, Zambia, and Zimbabwe are working to intensify cross border social and behaviour change communication (SBCC) interventions with a particular focus on high risk groups such as sexworkers, truckers, and migrant populations. The project involves...

Media's pH (Public Health) Value

This initiative, launched in India by Newslaundry in partnership with Who’s There? Yes (WTY), a global journalism and health mentoring initiative of Chitra Subramaniam Duella and Franklin Apfel, is intended to inspire public debate in India on health issues starting with tobacco control. It was timed for debate during the lead up to the Delhi...

"If a picture is worth a thousand words, then a video is worth a million."

HealthPhone™ is a resource using the medium of video transmitted through mobile phones that is designed to improve the health of economically poor and vulnerable populations around the world. "A mobile phone, with basic health information embedded on the...

Every year on October 24, people around the world organise activities to shine a spotlight on the importance of global polio eradication. World Polio Day, which in 2013 has an intensified social media presence, is a Rotarian initiative to help create awareness of polio and garner support for eradication efforts.

Freedom Polio is a mobile health (m-health) solution designed for effective community-level health management in India. The project was designed and developed by ZMQ Development (ZMQ), an information and communication technology for development (ICT4D) social enterprise, in partnership with CORE Group Polio Project (CGPP), which works in...

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Publications

"Clearly, this partnership between countries and sharing of expertise and know-how can go a long way to eradicating polio globally."

This online resource includes polio communication resources developed by the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and CORE, who started working together in India in 2003 as the Social Mobilization Network (SM Net) to provide concentrated support for immunisation in high-risk areas (HRAs) of Uttar Pradesh (UP). Working in 12 districts of UP...

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Community Participation

The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) Chad Country Office released this edition of its quarterly newsletter to announce that, thanks to rigorous polio campaigning, the country has achieved a polio-free status for 2 consecutive years.

"Eradicating polio requires that millions of parents allow their children to be given dose after dose of polio vaccine. Properly engaging them is key to success."

The above insight is one of those shared in the ninth report following from the tenth meeting of the Independent Monitoring Board (IMB) of the Global Polio...

This resource document elaborates principles and issues to be considered when making decisions about, planning, and implementing the introduction of a vaccine (e.g., pneumococcal conjugate, rotavirus, meningococcal A, rubella, human papillomavirus (HPV), Japanese encephalitis, and inactivated polio vaccines) into a national immunisation...

"Developing the plan has brought together multiple stakeholders involved in immunization, including governments and elected officials, health professionals, academia, manufacturers, global agencies, development partners, civil society, media and the private sector, to define collectively what the immunization community wants to achieve over...

From the "Thought Leaders" series of the News-Medical.Net website, this interview with Dr. Jos Vandelaer, Chief of Immunization for the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), is a question-answer discussion of the fact that one child in five does not get properly immunised and that coverage rates are worse among the economically poor,...

This reference document on vaccine introduction is intended as support for decisionmaking on how to add new vaccines to country immunisation programmes. Based on the 2005 WHO [World Health Organization] Vaccine Introduction Guidelines, it draws on country experiences in vaccine introduction and the recommendations from guidelines, tools, and...

"...[D]espite huge investments in communication, refusals and unawareness of vaccine availability or importance still dominate as reasons for failing to immunise children who develop poliomyelitis."

This video from Polio Free India is a slideshow depicting the opening of the "Drops of Dialogue" polio gallery at District Hospital, Moradabad, Uttar Pradesh (UP), India created by CORE Group. As can be seen here, the event had the theme: for the children by the children: 1995 to 2014 (as symbolised by children taking part in the event). A...

Author, Seye Abimbola, orignally posted October 11 2013, cross-posted March 31 2014:    

This learning paper discusses the adaptation of best practices for delivering training of Community Drug Distributors (CDDs) in the implementation of integrated community case management (ICCM) to the context in South Sudan. In two states of South Sudan, NBeG and Unity, between June 2010 and June 2012, the Malaria Consortium developed materials...

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Advocacy

The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) Chad Country Office released this edition of its quarterly newsletter to announce that, thanks to rigorous polio campaigning, the country has achieved a polio-free status for 2 consecutive years.

"The introduction of any new vaccine into routine vaccination programs requires a complex set of activities including: mobilization and leverage of political will and country leadership; advocacy and communications; advanced planning...; broad engagement of stakeholders...; alignment of staff and resources; and, allocation of sufficient and...

"Eradicating polio requires that millions of parents allow their children to be given dose after dose of polio vaccine. Properly engaging them is key to success."

The above insight is one of those shared in the ninth report following from the tenth meeting of the Independent Monitoring Board (IMB) of the Global Polio...

This resource document elaborates principles and issues to be considered when making decisions about, planning, and implementing the introduction of a vaccine (e.g., pneumococcal conjugate, rotavirus, meningococcal A, rubella, human papillomavirus (HPV), Japanese encephalitis, and inactivated polio vaccines) into a national immunisation...

"Developing the plan has brought together multiple stakeholders involved in immunization, including governments and elected officials, health professionals, academia, manufacturers, global agencies, development partners, civil society, media and the private sector, to define collectively what the immunization community wants to achieve over...

From the "Thought Leaders" series of the News-Medical.Net website, this interview with Dr. Jos Vandelaer, Chief of Immunization for the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), is a question-answer discussion of the fact that one child in five does not get properly immunised and that coverage rates are worse among the economically poor,...

This reference document on vaccine introduction is intended as support for decisionmaking on how to add new vaccines to country immunisation programmes. Based on the 2005 WHO [World Health Organization] Vaccine Introduction Guidelines, it draws on country experiences in vaccine introduction and the recommendations from guidelines, tools, and...

"...[D]espite huge investments in communication, refusals and unawareness of vaccine availability or importance still dominate as reasons for failing to immunise children who develop poliomyelitis."

"Given that immunisation coverage must occur at population level for public health objectives and benefits to be fully realised, effective communications planning, and immunisation service delivery, must aim to understand individual choice perspectives, as well as the social dynamics that shape social norms, values and culture."

"Applying the resolve and dedication that characterizes polio eradication to a wider suite of services could provide communities with the services they are demanding, give workers a fresh reason for enthusiasm, and increase baseline RI coverage. The eradication of polio would probably not be far behind."

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Nigeria

"Eradicating polio requires that millions of parents allow their children to be given dose after dose of polio vaccine. Properly engaging them is key to success."

The above insight is one of those shared in the ninth report following from the tenth meeting of the Independent Monitoring Board (IMB) of the Global Polio...

"[M]en in the community should be the target for sensitization, [as] they are the ones that determine whether a child gets vaccinated or not."

In the context of sub-optimal immunisation uptake in Africa - in particular, of the oral polio vaccine (OPV), which has led Nigeria to be one of the few remaining polio-endemic countries...

"[Polio c]ommunication reviews have established themselves as valuable components of strategic communication planning and there is strong consensus that they need to continue. However, ...there are several areas of improvement that need to be considered..."

"Why is the same vaccine accepted in one part of the world and rejected in another? Heidi Larson tells Fiona Fleck why communicating the benefits versus the risks of vaccination is just part of the battle to gain public confidence in vaccines."

"...[D]espite huge investments in communication, refusals and unawareness of vaccine availability or importance still dominate as reasons for failing to immunise children who develop poliomyelitis."

"Interpreting resistance to vaccination as essentially religio-cultural marginalises an understanding of resistance as the rational and strategic response by households and communities to systematic conditions of inequity and exclusion."

Author, Seye Abimbola, orignally posted October 11 2013, cross-posted March 31 2014:    

"Polio eradication will only be achieved with stronger health systems and bottom-up community engagement, which is likely to require more time and more investment than is currently available in Pakistan, Nigeria, and Afghanistan because of their political fragility."

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Pakistan

"Eradicating polio requires that millions of parents allow their children to be given dose after dose of polio vaccine. Properly engaging them is key to success."

The above insight is one of those shared in the ninth report following from the tenth meeting of the Independent Monitoring Board (IMB) of the Global Polio...

Authors: Todd Summers and J. Stephen Morrison, May 28 2014 - In early January 2013, a dozen deans from America's premier public health schools wrote President Obama a letter protesting the CIA's use of a faked vaccination campaign in the hunt for Osama bin Laden.

"[Polio c]ommunication reviews have established themselves as valuable components of strategic communication planning and there is strong consensus that they need to continue. However, ...there are several areas of improvement that need to be considered..."

For the monitoring of coverage in supplementary immunisation activities (SIAs) carried out as part of the effort to eradicate polio in Pakistan (and, thus, globally), "automated systems based on short message service (SMS) texts appear to be an attractive and relatively inexpensive option." This is the conclusion of research conducted by Aga...

"Interpreting resistance to vaccination as essentially religio-cultural marginalises an understanding of resistance as the rational and strategic response by households and communities to systematic conditions of inequity and exclusion."

Author, Seye Abimbola, orignally posted October 11 2013, cross-posted March 31 2014:    

Author Jawahir Habib, March 8 2014:      "My husband hit me in the morning, he was asking for money," said a Lady Health Worker (LHW), Nadia, in Kili Shabo area of Quetta (South-west of Pakistan). "I have not received my polio immunization days payments for past four campaigns, my husband thinks I go out of...

"Polio eradication will only be achieved with stronger health systems and bottom-up community engagement, which is likely to require more time and more investment than is currently available in Pakistan, Nigeria, and Afghanistan because of their political fragility."

This report emerges from an Islamabad, Pakistan, meeting - the first in a planned series of national consultation meetings in the remaining 3 polio-endemic countries, intended to give religious scholars at the national level the opportunity to brainstorm on strategies for a polio-free Islamic world by the end of 2014. The objectives of the...

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Afghanistan

"Eradicating polio requires that millions of parents allow their children to be given dose after dose of polio vaccine. Properly engaging them is key to success."

The above insight is one of those shared in the ninth report following from the tenth meeting of the Independent Monitoring Board (IMB) of the Global Polio...

"Interpreting resistance to vaccination as essentially religio-cultural marginalises an understanding of resistance as the rational and strategic response by households and communities to systematic conditions of inequity and exclusion."

Author, Seye Abimbola, orignally posted October 11 2013, cross-posted March 31 2014:    

"Polio eradication will only be achieved with stronger health systems and bottom-up community engagement, which is likely to require more time and more investment than is currently available in Pakistan, Nigeria, and Afghanistan because of their political fragility."

Author Umaru Pate, February 5 2014: Professor, Department of Mass Communication, University of Maiduguri and Kaigamma of Adamawa, reflects on his recent experience as an expert panelist reviewing Afghanistan's polio communication programme. Professor Pate has also participated in similar reviews of Nigeria's polio communication programme...

In this presentation prepared as part of a polio Technical Advisory Group (TAG) meeting (November 30 - December 1 2013, Kabul, Afghanistan), the Ministry of Public Health explores:

"Public awareness was the key for the success we had - in the schools, the mosques - but now keeping polio-free is more important than becoming polio-free." - Governor of Kandahar, Afghanistan

Notes from the field - Pakistan December 2013

Author Chris Morry, from his Field Notes series for the Polio Network on December 11 2013:         It has been very busy since we left Afghanistan for Nigeria. So busy in fact that it was 24 hours before I learned of Nelson Mandela's death. His passing is a moment for reflection not only on the impact of...

"Insecurity, targeted violence and bans; communications and social mobilisation; management and oversight of the global program - these are make or break issues for global polio eradication."

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India

"The introduction of any new vaccine into routine vaccination programs requires a complex set of activities including: mobilization and leverage of political will and country leadership; advocacy and communications; advanced planning...; broad engagement of stakeholders...; alignment of staff and resources; and, allocation of sufficient and...

"[Polio c]ommunication reviews have established themselves as valuable components of strategic communication planning and there is strong consensus that they need to continue. However, ...there are several areas of improvement that need to be considered..."

"Why is the same vaccine accepted in one part of the world and rejected in another? Heidi Larson tells Fiona Fleck why communicating the benefits versus the risks of vaccination is just part of the battle to gain public confidence in vaccines."

This video from Polio Free India is a slideshow depicting the opening of the "Drops of Dialogue" polio gallery at District Hospital, Moradabad, Uttar Pradesh (UP), India created by CORE Group. As can be seen here, the event had the theme: for the children by the children: 1995 to 2014 (as symbolised by children taking part in the event). A...

"Interpreting resistance to vaccination as essentially religio-cultural marginalises an understanding of resistance as the rational and strategic response by households and communities to systematic conditions of inequity and exclusion."

"When we join hands, miracles happen."

"[Y]outh's productive engagement in the polio/RI programme will provide it with a source of continued dynamism and productive energy. This is especially so as the Polio Eradication programme is transcending into a crucial phase, as for over three years no wild polio transmission is reported in the country (India), whereas the associated '...

"Effective Communication is certainly the only most powerful 'vaccine' that prevents communities from various dreaded diseases, including Polio..."

"[I]n India, evidence-based communication strategies - including through interpersonal communication and through social channels - made a marked difference in delivering effective health communication for the polio eradication programme."

"Evidence-based approaches used in risk communication should be adopted as core principles by all health providers, experts, health authorities, policy makers, and politicians when communicating information about program interventions. These approaches include engagement with and listening to stakeholders, and being transparent about...

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