Effective communication between the health services and the parents and caregivers of children can improve childhood vaccination uptake and strengthen immunization services in low income countries (LICs). A key challenge, however, is how best to integrate evidence-based communication strategies into vaccination programme delivery at scale.
Objectives and Aims
COMMVAC aimed to develop guidance for policy makers and programme managers on how to strengthen vaccine delivery and increase vaccination uptake in LICs through the integration of evidence- based communication strategies that are adapted for local conditions.
The mixed methods project had five components/objectives:
- To map the range of communication activities used in vaccination campaigns
- To develop an outcomes framework for provider-parent communication interventions to improve childhood vaccination uptake
- To describe and analyse how vaccination programmes are implementing communication interventions to improve childhood vaccination uptake, including how these are packaged, combined and delivered
- To review systematically evidence on health system barriers and facilitators to the successful and sustainable scaling up of vaccination communication interventions
- To develop and disseminate best practice guidance on effective vaccination communication interventions for application in LICs
- Developing a taxonomy of communication interventions used in campaigns, and integrating this into the existing COOMVAC taxonomy of interventions for routine childhood vaccination.
- Developing an outcome framework for provider-parent vaccination communication interventions.
- Micro-analysis of how LICs are operationalizing vaccination communication interventions
- Exploring the health systems barriers and facilitators to the successful and sustainable scaling up of vaccination communication interventions in LICs
- Translating the best available evidence into guidance for successful application of key communication interventions in LICs
The outcomes included: (1) an approach to standardising outcomes for future vaccination communication intervention trials; (2) deeper understanding of the range of vaccination communication interventions being delivered in LICs and the factors associated with their implementation at scale; (3) improved childhood vaccination uptake in LICs; and (4) knowledge resources tailored for LICs.
The end beneficiaries are children eligible for routine immunisations in LIC, especially in the African Region.
Guidance will target policy makers, vaccination programme managers, caregivers, parents, all of whom have the challenge to make decisions affecting children’s health.
Further lines of action/next steps
We are collaborating with WHO Afro Region in order to set up a guidance development process, compliant with the WHO Guidelines Development Committee. This involves a wide range of stakeholders and experts from all around the world.
Other important information
The COMMVAC partners included the Norwegian Knowledge Centre for the Health Services, Norway; La Trobe University, Melbourne; the University of Calabar, Nigeria; the Ministry of Health, Mozambique; the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute/ Swiss Centre for International Health, Switzerland; the International Union for Health Promotion and Education; and the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile. The project was funded by the Research Council of Norway.