McCann Global Health Works to Eradicate Polio in Pakistan

McCann Global Health recently introduced a new brand platform to fight polio in Pakistan. The agency has been working on this issue since 2014 when it was named lead agency for the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) led by UNICEF, the World Health Organization, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Rotary Club.

McCann Health works closely with the leadership of the UNICEF polio team to leverage the global Knowledge, Attitude and Practice (KAP) study that was led by the Harvard Chan School of Public Health to determine and define the barriers to getting to the last 1% of the unvaccinated target audience. Building on the analysis of this research, McCann Global Health led workshops with all of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative partners in New York and Islamabad to begin to assess and review all aspects of the polio eradication effort. From these workshops, Global Health developed a new global polio vaccination strategy focused on building trust around vaccinators and other health workers, as well as shifting social norms regarding the vaccinators, the program itself and the deep cultural resistances in place.

The strategy was brought to life first with a robust global polio communications toolkit available in book form and online as well as a new national campaign for Pakistan, the country that is still experiencing new cases of the wild polio virus infecting children.

The campaign  is now in every province and community in the country. Award-winning Pakistani director, Jamshed Mahmood Raza directed the TV and radio components of the campaign in an effort to bring authenticity to the work as this was a critical part of the strategy in building trust and changing deep seeded social norms and beliefs.

Early indications are showing that the campaign is having an effect on how this hard-to-reach population views the vaccinators and the polio effort. There is also evidence that this effort is providing a new sense of meaning, conviction and pride among the vaccinators and community organizers whose are on the front lines of the polio eradication effort every day.

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