Pakistan's Rural Communities Fight Against COVID-19

Appeal for Donation

Social mobilisation and community engagement to promote and support uptake of MR vaccine during the MR Campaign of November 2021

Measles and Rubella (MR) are highly contagious viral diseases which affect susceptible individuals of all ages and remains one of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality among young children causing an estimated 2.6 million deaths each year across the globe. Measles and Rubella are highly infectious diseases that can easily spread from person to person and are common in populations that live in low- and middle-income countries.

These diseases are a common cause for morbidity and mortality in Pakistan, hence requiring immediate attention. Vaccination against Measles has proven to be an effective preventive intervention, especially when coupled with hand-washing and other preventive measures. There is global momentum for Measles and Rubella prevention efforts and in 2021, the Government of Pakistan has planned to introduce the Measles-Rubella (MR) vaccine for children in the routine immunization schedule covering children at 9 and 15 months of age. The MR introduction campaign planned in November 2021 will target children from 9months to less than 15 years of age and aims to reach out to 96 million children through Federal and Provincial EPIs. With our comparative advantage in C4D and as requested by the Federal EPI Pakistan, UNICEF will be leading the communications component of the MR campaign.

To reach target children for measles vaccination mass level community mobilisation and awareness about measles vaccination and its benefits is essential so that parents/caregivers are ready for vaccination of all eligible children during the MR campaign in November 2021.UNICEF is providing communication support to the Federal and Provincial Government for successful community mobilisation and community engagement for this MR campaign in November 2021. UNICEF intends to engage National level CSO with large community outreach for implementation of community mobilization component of this campaign.

Objective: 

The primary objective of this project is to mobilise caretakers to get their children aged 9 months to 15 years vaccinated against Measles and Rubella at the nearest fixed and outreach sites.

Target Districts, Union Councils and Population:

The project is being implemented in 1789urban and rural union councils in 28 districts of Pakistan. These districts have been selected by RSPN in consultation with UNICEF. Districts include six districts of Karachi in Sindh province (Karachi West, Karachi South, Karachi Korangi, Karachi Central, Karachi Malir and Karachi East), Sujawal, Thatta, Jacobabad, Kashmore, Kamber Shahdadkot Hyderabad (Sindh province), Quetta, Killa Abdullah, Kalat, Bolan, Nushki, Mastung (Balochistan province), Islamabad Capital Territory, Rawalpindi, Lahore, Faisalabad, Rajanpur (Punjab province), Peshawar, Bannu, LakkiMarwat, Torgarh, Kohistan and Batagram (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province).

Implementation Partners:

The project is being implemented in partnership with four Rural Support Programmes (RSPs)and directly by RSPN in some cities. The four partner RSPs will be the Balochistan Rural Support Programme (BRSP), the National Rural Support Programme (NRSP), Sindh Rural Support Organization (SRSO) and the Sarhad Rural Support Programme (SRSP).

Implementation phases and activities:

Pre-campaign community awareness activities (1st October 2021- November 14, 2021)

The following activities will be undertaken during the pre-campaign phase:

  • Identification and meetings with the influencers including religious (male/female), political, Tribal/community and include their names on micro-plans for MR Campaign
  • Orientation of LSO members/CRPs at Tehsil Levels
  • Awareness Sessions in Schools/Refusal Schools
  • Mobilise Market Committees/trade unions to create awareness about the MR campaign
  • Announcements in Mosques/Religious Places
  • LoudspeakerAnnouncements in Streets/bazar
  • Awareness session at Community level:

Activities for MR Campaign days (15th November 2021 -27th November 2021)

For vaccination of eligible children during MR campaign dates, Department of Health has deputed dedicated teams at fixed vaccination centers, outreach teams and mobile vaccination teams. Each social mobilisation team (SMT) will closely coordinate with all Union Council Medical Officers (UCMOs) of Department of Health daily of all target UCs and will provide them support in addressing refusals and reaching out to hard-to-reach population for vaccination. SMTs will also closely coordinate with CRPs, LSOs members and key influencers whose names have been included in micro-plans and will encourage them to provide all required community level support to outreach teams to gather all eligible children for MR Vaccination.

Post Campaign Activities:

District teams will participate in Post Campaign meetings at District and Tehsils level. These meetings will serve the purpose to identify the gaps in campaigns and also identify the number of children missed out. Plans for catch up days will be developed and SMTs will provide community awareness and refusal addressal support for catch up days.

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