Work In Action



Polio Immunization Week

WHO Polio Immunisation Campaign, 2005 -2006

The PR Challenge:
In 2005, the polio virus reappeared In a remote village of Cidahu di West Java after Indonesia was for years declared polio free. The challenge was to effect a change in perception and behaviour of parents towards polio immunization in order to achieve immunization of 100% of the targeted 25 million children in the Ministry of Health’s national immunization plan, in order to stop the polio virus from spreading nationwide. The trigger for the resistance toward immunization, was a television news bulletin which started a scare by misreporting infant deaths claimed falsely to be due to polio immunization
The PR Program:
IM&A identified the target groups and the target villages/towns and key influencers who could serve as change agents. We developed the key messages, communication and presentation materials tailored for each group, trained spokespersons to convey the messages, and conducted an outreach to the media enlisting their support for a public education campaign. The education campaign involved working with the Ministry of Health, the Provincial Health Authorities, and the Unicef as well as expert staff of the WHO from Atlanta and Geneva.
The Results:
The education campaign that IM&A designed and carried out, successfully changed the tone of news in the media. Educating community leaders and the media, print , television and radio, on the necessity of immunization of under fives, received significant coverage in the media and led to a change in perception about the importance of the national polio immunization program with subsequent achievement of 100% of the targeted children in the fourth round of the national polio immunization program.