UNICEF Polio: Strangers No More



In its last stage of polio eradication, Pakistan has made tremendous progress toward poliovirus transmission interruption. However, polio persists in many hard-to-reach communities that distrust the global polio initiative and continue to refuse polio vaccination.


Humanizing healthcare workers is critical to dispel rumors, quell fears, and help halt the transmission of polio by driving up vaccine acceptance.


McCann Global Health worked with partners on the ground to understand the barriers to behavior change and the most salient messages that needed to be communicated, and then translated these into the “Strangers No More” campaign.


McCann Global Health, along with partners, launched “Strangers No More”—a multichannel communications campaign targeting caregivers in Pakistan. To create trust in the health workers, the campaign focused on the hardest-to-reach population in Pakistan and depicted the life of health workers outside of their work, showing them as fathers, mothers, and ordinary Pakistanis. It was tailored to address the most resilient population in Pakistan, the Pashtun people, by using Pashtun actors and dialects. By increasing the acceptance of health workers among one of the most resilient audiences, we draw ever closer to a polio-free world.