Overcoming barriers to vaccine acceptance in the community: Key learning from the experiences of 734 frontline health workers

What works in practice to build vaccine confidence?

Reda Sadki Global public health

This is the content of a poster presented today by The Geneva Learning Foundation (LinkedIn | YouTube | Podcast | Twitter)  at the International Social and Behavior Change Communication Summit 2022 (#SBCCSummit) held 5-9 December 2022 in Marrakech, Morocco. What is the Geneva Learning Foundation? Get the full report… Read the preface by Heidi Larson… From responding to the initial shock of the pandemic to preparing COVID-19 vaccine introduction Over 6,000 health professionals joined the COVID-19 Peer Hub in July 2022, part of the Geneva Learning Foundation’s (TGLF) global immunization learning-to-action platform. We asked a simple question: Can you think of a time when you helped an individual or group overcome their initial reluctance, hesitancy, or fear about vaccination? Who participated? Local practitioners from 86 countries: Health system levels: So what? What was the significance of the experience for participants? Transformation: “I can tell you this experience changed my life. It has changed my practice and made …

Heidi Larson: “So much remains determined by the capacity of people on the frontlines to explain, advocate, and respond in ways that are almost entirely dictated by context”

Reda Sadki Global public health

This is the preface by Heidi Larson for the report “Overcoming barriers to vaccine acceptance in the community: Key learning from the experiences of 734 frontline health workers”. This report is presented today by The Geneva Learning Foundation (LinkedIn | YouTube | Podcast | Twitter) at the International Social and Behavior Change Communication Summit 2022 (#SBCCSummit) held 5-9 December 2022 in Marrakech, Morocco. What is the Geneva Learning Foundation? Get the full report… Read the preface by Heidi Larson… My own consciousness of the fragile equilibrium sustaining vaccine confidence came from working with immunization programmes and local health workers to defuse rumors that threatened to derail vaccination initiatives. Twenty years ago, this meant traveling to countries to meet, build relationships with, and work side-by-side with frontliners. Since that time, the corpus of research on the topic has grown tremendously. Elaborate behavioral science frameworks, supported by robust monitoring and evaluation, are now available to guide policy makers, donors, …

Arve Henriksen – Groundswell

What is the value of strategy in the middle of a global crisis?

Reda Sadki Global public health, Learning strategy

A new global vision and strategy titled ‘Immunization Agenda 2030: A Global Strategy to Leave No One Behind (IA2030)’ was endorsed by the World Health Assembly less than a year before the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. Today, the cumulative tension of both urgent and longstanding challenges is stretching people who deliver vaccines. Challenges include immunization service recovery, COVID-19 vaccine introduction, and the persistence of epidemic outbreaks of diseases that can already be prevented by vaccines. Is this the right time to launch a global strategy – especially one developed before the pandemic – to achieve the immunization goals? Yes, immunization staff the world over – and the societies we live in – are still reeling from the shock of the COVID-19 pandemic. Nevertheless, in times of crisis, thinking and acting strategically can help each of us stay focused on the global immunization goals, keeping us on the path to equitable …

Two false dichotomies: quality vs. quantity and peer vs. global expertise

Reda Sadki Global health, Global public health

The national EPI manager of the Expanded Programme for Immunization (EPI) of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), just addressed the COVID-19 Peer Hub Teams from DRC and Ivory Coast, saluting both teams for their effort to prepare and strengthen COVID-19 vaccine introduction. I am honored to have been invited and pleased to see how this initiative is not only country-led but truly owned and led by its participants. She has joined the Inter-Country Peer Exchange (reserved for COVID-19 Peer Hub Members) organized by the Peer Hub’s DRC Team to share rapid learning from COVID-19 vaccine introduction. In the room are immunization professionals, primarily those working for the Ministries of Health, directly involved in vaccine introduction from both countries and from all levels of the health system. Other COVID-19 Peer Hub country teams are organizing similar inter-country exchanges, in response to their own needs, building on what they have …

What does the changing nature of knowledge mean for global health?

Reda Sadki Global public health, Learning strategy

Charlotte Mbuh and I will be welcoming Julie Jacobson, one of the founders of Bridges to Development, for our 15-minute Global Health Symposium about neglected needs of women’s health, and specifically the upcoming Female Genital Schistosomiasis (FGS) workshop being organized by the FAST package, a group of international and country partners. Join the Symposium on Facebook, YouTube, or LinkedIn. (If you miss the live stream, the recording is immediately available afterward, via these same links.) During the Ebola crisis response of 2014-2015, I sweet-talked Panu Saaristo into doing the first “15-minute global health symposium”, giving him just 6 minutes for an update about the complex work he was leading. (You can read about it here.) I still remember every point of his presentation and the emotion associated with it, as he described how Red Cross volunteers were risking their own lives to help families bury their dead safely. It turns …

Social network and citation network in the COVID-19 Peer Hub

Disseminating rapid learning about COVID-19 vaccine introduction

Reda Sadki Global health, Global public health, Learning strategy

In July 2019, barely six months before the pandemic, we worked with alumni of The Geneva Learning Foundation’s immunization programme to build the Impact Accelerator in 86 countries. This global community of action for national and sub-national immunization staff pledged, following completion of one of the Foundation’s courses, to support each other in other to achieve impact. Closing the loop from learning to impact produced startling results, accelerating the rate at which locally-resourced projects were implemented and fostering new forms of collaborative leadership. Alumni launched what immediately became the largest network of immunization managers in the world. Then the pandemic dramatically raised the stakes: at least 80 million children under one were placed at risk of vaccine-preventable diseases such as diphtheria, measles and polio as COVID-19 disrupted immunization service as worldwide. Alumni were amongst the first in their countries to respond, leveraging the power of being connected to each other …

Solidarity across public health and medicine silos during a pandemic

Reda Sadki Education business models, Global health, Global public health, Learning strategy

We are launching a new Scholar programme about environmental threats to health, with an initial focus on radiation. (I mapped out what this might look like in 2017.) As part of the launch, we are enlisting support of immunization colleagues. Our immunization programme is our largest and most advanced programme, and still growing fast since its inception in 2016. At The Geneva Learning Foundation, we have spent 5 years pouring mind, body, and soul into building what has become the largest digital platform for national and sub-national immunization leaders. Along the way, we discovered that it is not only about scale. Social Network Analysis (SNA) by colleagues Sasha Poquet and Vitomir Kovanovic at the Centre for Complexity and Change in Learning is now helping us to understand the power in the relationships not just one-to-many but many-to-many across the network. Yes, there is a linkage as most vaccines are for …

Aboard the USS Bowfin (Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, United States of America). Personal collection.

Implementation of guidelines, officially

Reda Sadki Global public health

This is everything that the World Health Organization’s Handbook for Guideline Development says about implementation.  Implementation of a guideline should be taken into account right from the beginning of the guideline development. Implementation is generally the responsibility of national or subnational groups, which explains why their participation in guideline development is critical. WHO headquarters and regional and country offices can support implementation activities by promoting new guidelines at international conferences and providing guideline dissemination workshops, tools, resources and overall coordination [emphasis mine]. Implementation strategies are context-specific. The basic steps for implementing a guideline are: convene a multidisciplinary working group to analyse local needs and priorities (looking for additional data on actual practice); identify potential barriers and facilitating factors; determine available resources and the political support required to implement recommendations; inform relevant implementing partners at all levels; and design an implementation strategy (considering how to encourage theadoption of the recommendations and how …

USS Bowfin diving plane control levers

From guidelines to impact

Reda Sadki Global public health, Thinking aloud

Most global public health organizations issue guidelines that are of a high methodological quality and are developed through a transparent, evidence-based decision-making process. However, they often lack an effective, scalable mechanism to support governments and health workers at country and sub-country level in turning these into action that leads to impact. Existing activities intended to help countries build public health capacity carry potential risk for these organizations, as they rely on high-cost, low-volume workshops and trainings that may be characterized by startling disparities in quality, scalability, replicability, and sustainability, often making it difficult or impossible to determine their impact. In some thematic areas, stakeholders have recognized the problem and are developing their own frameworks to improve quality of training and improve capacity-building. A few stakeholders are experimenting with new capacity-building approaches to empower local actors and strengthen the resilience of communities. The global community allocates considerable human and financial resources …

New learning and leadership for front-line community health workers facing danger

Reda Sadki Global public health, Learning design, Scholar Approach

This presentation was prepared for the second global meeting of the Health Care in Danger (HCiD) project in Geneva, Switzerland (17–18 May 2017). In October  2016, over 700 pre-hospital emergency workers from 70 countries signed up for the #Ambulance! initiative to “share experience and document situations of violence”. This initiative was led by Norwegian Red Cross and IFRC in partnership with the Geneva Learning Foundation, as part of the Health Care in Danger project. Over four weeks (equivalent to two days of learning time), participants documented 72 front-line incidents of violence and similar risks, and came up with practical approaches to dealing with such risks. This initiative builds on the Scholar Approach, developed by the University of Illinois College of Education, the Geneva Learning Foundation, and Learning Strategies International. In 2013, IFRC had piloted this approach to produce 105 case studies documenting learning in emergency operations. These are some of the questions which I address in …