UNICEF Polio: Guardians of Health


The Situation

Polio was once the leading cause of paralysis among children worldwide. Thankfully, since 1988, the number of children affected by polio has shrunk by 99 % –from 350,000 cases in 125 countries to fewer than 100 cases in just two countries: Afghanistan and Pakistan. These are the final 1% of polio cases.

The Challenge 

Healthcare workers must travel through tough terrain in order to reach remote villages, where they attempt to convince skeptical caregivers to vaccinate their children.

The Strategy 

Health workers are the face of the eradication effort. If a parent trusts the health worker, they trust the vaccine.

The Execution 

We created a program to help health workers build trust and goodwill, all while establishing vaccination as a social norm. Our polio communications toolkit provides caregivers in Afghanistan and Pakistan practical tools to plan a communications program and adapt immunization messages.