In honor of August as Immunization Month, we will be sharing a series of articles this week that first appeared in a Journal of Health Communication supplement.
Communication is a critical component in assuring that children are fully immunized and that simultaneous immunity is attained and maintained across large geographic areas for disease eradication and control initiatives.
If service delivery is of good quality and outreach to the population is active, effective communication—through advocacy, social mobilization, and program communication (including behavior change activities and interpersonal communication)—will assist in raising awareness, creating and sustaining demand, preventing or dispelling misinformation and doubts, encouraging acceptance of and participation in vaccination services, more rapid reporting of disease cases and outbreaks, and mobilizing financial resources to support immunization efforts.
There is evidence of 12% to 20% or more increases in the absolute level of immunization coverage and 33% to 100% increases in relative coverage compared to baselines when communication is included as a key component of immunization strengthening. This article utilizes evidence from Afghanistan, India, Pakistan, and Nigeria to examine how the Global Polio Eradication Initiative has utilized monitoring and evaluation data to focus and improve the quality and impact of communication activities.
Please note: This article will be accessible free-of-charge for six months from the date of publication: until November 7th, 2010. After that time, it will be only be available for purchase.
Authors: Silvio Waisbord, Lora Shimp, Ellyn W. Ogden, Chris Morry