This article explores the Polio Communication Network's contribution to the polio outbreak response in the Somali Region of Ethiopia from 2013 to 2015. The article explores the barriers that prevented communities in seeking immunizations and they include weak health worker interpersonal communication during immunization sessions, in accessible immunization site, fear of vaccine side effects and reactions and inconvenient timing of sessions.
The authors also highlight community’s lack of knowledge about the time, place, and importance of completing routine. With support from the global polio eradication initiatives, practitioners were able to implement rigorous, evidence-based strategies. The author of this paper details the activities conducted by practitioners in creating community engagement initiatives. Practitioners did this by developing standard messages on polio and child survival reinforced by religious teachings from the Quran.
The dissemination of messages was done through masjids (mosques), Quranic schools, adult learning and religious teaching schools, community conversation sessions, and special lectures or sessions known as "Muhadaras", which were designed to reach women as key decision makers in the vaccination process.
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