Using Communications to Propel a Successful Rotavirus Vaccine Introduction in Benin

July 28th, 2020 | Viewpoint

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Diarrhea is one of the world’s leading killers of children, and rotavirus is the most common cause of severe diarrhea. Each year, rotavirus kills about 200,000 children and hospitalizes hundreds of thousands more, despite the availability of safe, effective rotavirus vaccines that can protect children from disease and death. In 2019, The Republic of Benin and the Ministry of Health announced rotavirus and rotavirus vaccine as a top priority. At the end of 2019, Benin successfully introduced Rotavac® vaccine nation-wide.

Nine months prior to the new vaccine introduction, the Rotavirus Accelerated Vaccine Introduction Network (RAVIN) – a consortium between International Vaccine Access Center (IVAC), Center for Disease Control (CDC), and JSI – provided technical support to Benin’s National Primary Healthcare Agency (ANSSP) to develop community messages in the form of billboards, poster boards, radio messaging, public service announcements, and song jingles to support the introduction of the vaccine into Benin’s routine immunization program. These community-oriented communication materials were developed to engage the public for a collaborative effort to reduce diarrhea-causing illnesses and deaths by informing the public on rotavirus and the impact a vaccine can have to reduce diarrhea-related deaths.

This video displays an overview of RAVIN’s support to the ANSSP based on a communication materials assessment which was conducted three months after the new vaccine was introduced. Caregivers, healthcare workers, and national leaders in public health, all discuss the impact of the new vaccine in this 4 min video.

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