12,912 The Communication Initiative Network, Inside the Vial: Communicating about Particular Polio Preventives, The Drum Beat 713, June 8 2016

The Drum BeatInside the Vial: Communicating about Particular Polio Preventives – The Drum Beat 713
June 8 2016

In this issue:


From April 17 to May 1 2016, 155 countries and territories worldwide participated in the historic trivalent (tOPV) to bivalent oral polio vaccine (bOPV) switch, withdrawing the type 2 component of the vaccine to protect future generations against type 2 circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus (cVDPV). The selections in this issue of the Drum Beat are meant to clarify the rationale behind this important strategy in the final push toward polio eradication and to explore how and why the strategic use of communication has been crucial in preparing for the switch and will continue to be elemental to efforts going forward. Ultimately, the plan is to strengthen global routine immunisation (RI) systems and replace all types of OPV with inactivated polio vaccination (IPV). Much of what follows focuses on the switch, including the primer below. The selections toward the end of this ! issue provide more detail on the role of IPV in helping to achieve a world free of polio.
From The Communication Initiative Network – where communication and media are central to social and economic development.
LIKE The CI on Facebook; FOLLOW The CI on Twitter; VIEW this issue online; READ PAST ISSUES of The Drum Beat; and ask your colleagues and networks to SUBSCRIBE to The Drum Beat.

  • 1. Polio Primer
    This page is a primer that provides basic info on the polio eradication programme, its history, its epidemiology, the vaccines (tOPV, bOPV, and IPV), where we are now, and what the eradication plan is – including the switch.
  • 2. Securing a Polio-Free World: Video Series
    This video series from the World Health Organization (WHO) explain the steps that are being taken to make sure that, once the wild poliovirus (WPV) has been eradicated from the remaining WPV-endemic countries (Afghanistan and Pakistan), it will never have the opportunity to return. The videos also address the switch, which needs to be understood to fully grasp the importance of clearing VDPV. [Feb 2016]
  • 3. How Can Data Help Fight Disease?
    This video from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation provides a brief history of the polio eradication effort and explains the important role that data and information have played. [May 2016]
  • 4. A World Free of Polio – The Final Steps
    by Manish Patel, M.D. and Walter Orenstein, M.D.
    This commentary explains the rationale behind the switch, arguing that “the global community has a moral imperative to discontinue it [tOPV] as soon as programmatically feasible.” The authors stress the role of coordinated communication among global health organisations, countries, manufacturers, and funders “to ensure synchronized OPV2 withdrawal with minimal disruption in vaccination services to children worldwide.” [Feb 2016]
  • See also:

  • 5. Polio Endgame Tokelau Workshop
    Tokelau is a tiny island country in the South Pacific Ocean, but even there the polio endgame strategy is being implemented. In July 2015, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the WHO conducted a refresher course for Tokelau’s health officials on immunisation techniques, training them to administer a new vaccine regimen. According to WHO, implementing this immunisation policy will require high levels of political commitment, close collaboration among all partners, financial support, and strong internal and external communication.
  • 6. Polio Eradication – Endgame Strategies – Polio Type 2 Withdrawal: National tOPV-bOPV switch Plan
    This guidance document from the Epidemiology Unit of the Ministry of Health, Government of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka is designed to prepare the National Switch Coordination Committee (NSCC) and other stakeholders for the April 30 2016 switch day. It outlines plans for the switch procedure, monitoring of the switch plan, advocacy, awareness, communications, and remaining tOPV withdrawal. [Oct 2015]
  • 7. The Switch [Video]
    UNICEF supported the production by PCI Media Impact and Chocolate Moose Media of a short animation film to facilitate the rollout of “switch” programming at regional and country levels. It features a wise, elderly physician explaining the need to gradually phase out the use of OPV and breaks down the complex technical issues behind the switch. The film makes the point that this global effort requires participation by all individuals involved in the promotion of health care, including world leaders, policymakers, community leaders, parents, health officials, and health care workers. [Mar 2016]
  • 8. tOPV to bOPV SWITCH: WHO Communication Resources
    WHO has developed core communication materials, which may be adapted to local contexts as needed. The materials emphasise an evidence- and risk-based communication planning approach. A communications planning guide, an issues management and media kit, and a stakeholder engagement guide, as well as training resources and job aides, may be downloaded from the WHO website in various languages.
  • See also:

  • 9. Report on the 17th Meeting of the Technical Advisory Group [TAG] for the Eradication of Poliomyelitis in Pakistan [January 2016]
    Noting that the year 2015 saw the lowest number of polio in endemic countries and the fewest number of cases of confirmed WPV in recorded history, the TAG observed that despite overall positive progress, surveillance data – including genetic sequencing results – indicated persistent WPV circulation in the 3 remaining core reservoirs: the city of Karachi, Khyber-Peshawar (KP) corridor, and Quetta block. Transmission in the latter 2 reservoirs is heavily intertwined with transmission in the neighbouring Greater Nangarhar and Greater Kandahar areas of Afghanistan, respectively. It was noted that the switch in Pakistan was slated for April 25 2016, and the TAG recommended that the programme closely monitor preparation and synchronise switch dates with Afghanistan.
  • 10. Report on the Meeting of the Technical Advisory Group for the Eradication of Poliomyelitis in Afghanistan [January 2016]
    Amongst the TAG’s recommendations for Afghanistan are some communication-centred ones, such as: Robust preparations should be conducted for supplementary immunisation activities (SIAs) with IPV, with particular attention paid to having integrated microplans that incorporate social mobilisation activities, among other components. Coordination between the Eastern/South-eastern regions of Afghanistan and KP/FATA areas in Pakistan should be improved through bi-annual face-to-face meeting and fortnightly teleconferences at the regional level – preparing for the switch and synchronising the switch date with Pakistan.
  • 11. Now Is the Time for Peak Performance: Twelfth Report of the Independent Monitoring Board [IMB] of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative [GPEI]
    This IMB report provides a regular independent assessment of the progress being made by the GPEI. It focuses on “the challenge of maintaining focus with increasing programme complexity” and notes, “[t]he same staff that are accountable for interrupting transmission are also expected to manage: the logistics of a forthcoming planned major switch in the type of oral polio vaccine used by the programme, a worldwide roll-out of inactivated polio vaccine (including to polio affected countries) and the evaluation and preservation of polio infrastructure and good practice that can provide future benefit to other public health programmes, particularly routine immunization. While this is vitally important, it must not become a distraction from the number one goal of the programme: clearing polio out of every corner of the world.” [Oct 2015]
  • See also:
Looking for more on the switch, IPV, and all else polio-related? Please visit, search, and/or read:

  • 12. Mass Immunization with Inactivated Polio Vaccine in Conflict Zones – Experience from Borno and Yobe States, North-Eastern Nigeria
    by Faisal M Shuaibu et al.
    An 8-day immunisation campaign carried out as part of the GPEI in the conflict-affected states of Borno and Yobe was grounded in the belief that the use of IPV in RI to replace OPV is crucial in eradicating polio. Various advocacy and social mobilisation activities were carried out, focusing largely on interpersonal communication (IPC). These activities contributed to increases in OPV coverage to 105.1% for Borno and 103.3% for Yobe, and IPV coverage of 102.9% and 99.1% respectively. (“Where we describe coverage as greater than 100 per cent, this reflects original underestimates of the target populations.”) In short, the experience demonstrated: “A successful campaign and IPV immunization is viable in conflict areas.” [Nov 2015]
  • 13. Polio Outbreak in the Horn of Africa: Best Practices, Lessons Learned, & Innovations: 2013-2014
    This UNICEF document details the communication strategies developed by GPEI partners in the Horn of Africa in response to a polio outbreak that presented a set of unique communication challenges. Dadaab, “the world’s largest refugee camp with close to 350,000 registered Somali refugees, was the epicenter of Kenya’s polio cases in 2013.” In order to boost immunity with IPV, 6 immunisation rounds were held, complemented by trainings for health workers and social mobilisers to overcome challenges posed by weak health infrastructure. Intensive social mobilisation activities were then conducted to sensitise communities and caregivers about this new and unknown form of polio vaccine and to inform them about the location of the fixed posts. “Rates of acceptance throughout the campaigns were high, indicating that social mobilization activities, adapted to fit the varying social contexts and norms within the camps, were highly effective….Overall, 120,000 children in ! the camps and host communities of Garissa County received both oral and ‘injectable’ polio vaccine in December 2013. Consequently, no polio-virus has since been detected in Kenya.”
  • 14. Lessons Learned and Experiences Related to IPV Introduction
    These case studies on the WHO website describe “successful strategies and activities” – many of them communication-oriented – in order to help inform the introduction of the IPV in various countries around the world, including Albania, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Nepal, Nigeria, Tanzania, and Tunisia.
  • See also:

  • 15. Resources for Planning and IPV Introduction
    “Successful IPV introduction relies on effective planning with measurable outcomes and processes.” On this section of the WHO website, the practitioner can find communication materials to support countries preparing to introduce IPV, a suite of training materials for health workers on IPV, and guidance on related aspects of vaccine administration and IPC. Developed by UNICEF, a training curriculum for increasing IPC skills for the introduction of IPV is also available as part of this resource. Under the “Communications and Social Mobilizations” area, there is a media kit and an issues management guide.
  • 16. Training Curriculum: Increasing Interpersonal Communication Skills for the Introduction of Inactivated Polio Vaccine (IPV)
    This UNICEF training manual has been designed for use in trainings to increase IPC and knowledge related to IPV for social mobilisers and frontline health workers. It was developed to facilitate group health education with the help of visual aids such as flip charts, flash cards, and posters, as well as through drama and group exercises. [Nov 2014]
  • 17. Media Resource Kit: Preparing for IPV Introduction
    Published by the WHO, this kit is designed to support countries and regions in the various media activities related to the introduction of IPV. [Oct 2014]
  • 18. Issues Management Guide to Support Countries in Preparing for Unexpected Situations with Implications for Public Communications
    This resource is intended to support countries in preparing for unexpected situations in relation to the introduction of IPV and OPV withdrawal. It can help to identify an unexpected situation, evaluate its potential impact, and develop an appropriate communications strategy, in response, to minimise potential fall-out (e.g., affecting confidence in immunisation in general or IPV specifically). The document concludes with a list of communications resources that have been developed at global and regional levels to support countries in their IPV introduction and OPV cessation plans. [Oct 2014]
This issue of The Drum Beat was written by Kier Olsen DeVries.
The Drum Beat is the email and web network of The Communication Initiative Partnership.

Full list of the CI Partners:
ANDI, BBC Media Action, Bernard van Leer Foundation, Breakthrough, Citurna TV, Fundación Imaginario, Fundación Nuevo Periodismo Iberoamericano (FNPI), Heartlines,Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Center for Communication Programs, Maternal and Child Survival Program (MCSP), MISA, Open Society Foundations,Oxfam Novib, PAHO, The Panos Institute, Puntos de Encuentro, SAfAIDS, Sesame Workshop, Soul City, STEPS International, UNAIDS, UNICEF, Universidad de los Andes,USAID, World Health Organization (WHO), W.K. Kellogg Foundation

The Drum Beat seeks to cover the full range of communication for development activities. Inclusion of an item does not imply endorsement or support by The Partners.

Chair of the Partners Group: Garth Japhet, Founder, Soul City garth@heartlines.org.za

Executive Director: Warren Feek wfeek@comminit.com

The Editor of The Drum Beat is Kier Olsen DeVries.
Please send additional project, evaluation, strategic thinking, and materials information on communication for development at any time. Send to drumbeat@comminit.com

To reproduce any portion of The Drum Beat, click here for our policy.

To subscribe, click here.

To unsubscribe, please send an email to drumbeat@comminit.com with “Unsubscribe” in the subject line.



Por favor, inicia sesión con uno de estos métodos para publicar tu comentario:

Logo de WordPress.com

Estás comentando usando tu cuenta de WordPress.com. Cerrar sesión /  Cambiar )

Google photo

Estás comentando usando tu cuenta de Google. Cerrar sesión /  Cambiar )

Imagen de Twitter

Estás comentando usando tu cuenta de Twitter. Cerrar sesión /  Cambiar )

Foto de Facebook

Estás comentando usando tu cuenta de Facebook. Cerrar sesión /  Cambiar )

Conectando a %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.