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POLIO COMMUNICATION OVERVIEW National Polio Communication Review September 25-27, 2007 Kabul NEPI Department Partners (WHO, UNICEF) IEC Department Polio Communication Committee (PCC) PHDs / REMTs & PEMTs Zonal Partners (WHO, UNICEF) BPHS NGOs Programme Structure

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polio communication overview


National Polio Communication Review

September 25-27, 2007



NEPI Department

Partners (WHO, UNICEF)

IEC Department

Polio Communication Committee (PCC)


Zonal Partners (WHO, UNICEF)


Programme Structure

communication strategy progress on geneva milestones
Communication Strategy - Progress on Geneva Milestones
  • Developed and implemented consolidated Social Mobilization plan in line with the Geneva Milestones for the infected areas along with a proactive media plan (2007)
  • IEC and NEPI department activities:
    • Polio Communication Planning Workshop (July 2006)
    • Polio Communication Committee (PCC) formation
    • Polio communication advisor recruitment (at MoPH)
    • Polio technical officer recruitment (in the South)
    • Polio communication STOP Volunteers
    • Social Mobilisation program initiation in the high risk districts of southern and eastern provinces with BPHS NGOs
    • Branding of polio communication materials / messages
    • Communication & social mobilization training materials development
    • Media campaign, including production of TV/radio spots
    • Polio Field Study (under process) in the infected provinces
communication strategy future objectives
Communication strategy – Future objectives
  • Information about polio immunization in branded format should reach selected audiences in high risk areas to increase campaign coverage
  • Communities are informed and ready for campaigns through social mobilization programs held by BPHS NGOs in southern & eastern provinces
  • Main strategies for reaching the audience are:
    • Advocacy—traditional, religious and political leaders
    • Mass Media
    • Social Mobilization & Inter-personal Communication
strategic components results
Strategic components & results

Main activities:

Developing brand identity (logo, tagline, brand book) for the polio communication materials (posters, brochures, billboards, banners, T-shirts, caps, umbrellas etc.)

Football matches between provinces to disseminate messages to audience in the south (edutainment) and Rickshaw rallies

Launching Media Campaigns around each NID at national level (both through national and private channels) and around each SNID at local levels to announce campaign dates and address drop out and refusals. Spots (radio and TV) and posters used

Social Mobilization at the district level in selected high risk areas conducted by BPHS NGOs

Regular trainings and supervision of all the activities been done by Polio Communication Advisor in South and East

branded identity
Branded Identity


Two drops of Polio vaccine, to every child, in every round

underlying communication theory models
Underlying Communication Theory/Models
  • Local traditional and religious values (perceived social norms) are main principles for existing behaviours
  • Barriers from low literacy rates, economic status, security and geographical location acknowledged and incorporated into planning
  • Addressing economic, cultural and geographical differences with different IEC material
  • Social Mobilization using key influencers at the district level
  • Using religious personalities to model behaviours / act as change agents
advocacy partnerships achievements
Advocacy & partnershipsAchievements

High political support at presidential and ministerial levels

Every campaign inaugurated by the President or Minister of Public Health

Letter sent by President to all governors instructing them to assist MoPH for PEI

Press conferences in each round of NID / campaign inauguration mobilizing media

International Peace Day and days of tranquility proposed

advocacy partnerships achievements13
Advocacy & partnershipsAchievements

At provincial level governors are supportive.

  • The governors are opening the campaigns
  • In Kandahar, Governor had appointed one focal point for polio
  • District level social mobilization is creating a good environment for campaigns including addressing refusals
  • Based on the Post Campaign Assessments there are improvements in immunization coverage
  • An effective partnership is present between MoPH, Donors and Implementers

88% of people in South Afghanistan reported interpersonal source of information on NIDs compared to 73% nationally.

advocacy and partnership challenges
Advocacy and PartnershipChallenges
  • Local leaders still to be convinced to support and advocate for Polio Eradication
  • Weak community ownership for the polio eradication program
  • Weak coordination, monitoring and supervision of BPHS NGOs during NID campaign
community local mobilization
Community & local mobilization

To address the issue of community participation and ownership, participatory activities have been started in at risk areas of the south and east

  • Recruiting vaccinators from the community
  • Establishing a community monitoring process
  • Four categories of people are being mobilized to work with the communities prior to and during SIAs
    • Teachers
    • Religious leaders
    • Community elders
    • Community Health Workers (CHWs)
community local mobilization16
Community & local mobilization

Key influencers becoming lead change agents, with features in the Mass media campaign (Mr. Hazrat Sibghatullah Mujadidi, a religious leader, has several times announced the commencement of campaigns)

Conducting social mobilization training for the key influencers

Incorporation of IPC in volunteer training

use of media
Use of media

Mass media is important for the national campaign visibility and internal and external advocacy

  • 6 spots developed for Polio (3 TV and 3 Radio)
    • 2 for announcing the date, 2 for missing and drop out cases, 2 for refusals
    • Aired in prime time in Tolo and Shamshad TVs and Arman and national and local Radios
  • Print media is standardized after branding and three standard posters, a leaflet and banner developed for NIDS
  • Social Mobilization Toolkit developed
  • Roadside billboards with polio messages installed
  • Round table discussions before campaigns in National and BBC Radio

No direct assessment for outcome or impact of the mass media so far

Media coverage takes place 7-10 days prior to the scheduled NIDs and SNIDs

media briefings interviews national committees
Media briefings/ Interviews/National Committees

Media coverage takes place 7-10 days prior to the scheduled NIDs and SNIDs:

  • Interviews on Polio Eradication activities in the South and NIDS: BBC Asia, Al-Jazeera international, IRINNEWS, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), AFP, AP VOA, BBC Dari/Pashto service Interviews with Reuters and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Pajwak news agency
  • Media coverage for signing ceremony with the Government of Japan for the opening of the national storage vaccine facility in Kabul and funding for polio eradication activities
  • Sharing Information an ongoing basis with press officers of the following National Committees for further distribution to the media: UK, Netherlands, France, Canada and US Fund for UNICEF
media briefings interviews national committees19
Media briefings/ Interviews/National Committees
  • Visits to intensify visibility and support fundraising:

US Fund for UNICEF Clay Aikens visit to Bamyan where he vaccinated a child and highlighted the polio eradication activities in his US interviews

Peace One Day (POD) , where polio eradication activities in Afghanistan have been filmed and will be highlighted in a the POD's new film to be broadcasted in May 2008

Child Alert Mission, Polio Eradication activities will be presented in the Child Alert report in October 2007 as well as the SOWCR 2008 in December

Vermillion with support from UNICEF has filmed the worldwide effort to eradicate polio funded by Google/ to be released in early 2008

monitoring and evaluation
Monitoring and Evaluation
  • Improved Post Campaign Evaluation form to include communication questions on the process and impact of communication interventions
  • A field study is underway in high risk areas to see the impact of social mobilization and to get data on knowledge, attitude and behaviour of people regarding polio and polio immunization – Research Department with technical inputs from NEPI