Assessment of source of information for polio supplementary immunization activities in 2014 and 2015, Somali, Ethiopia


Introduction: Communication is key for the successful implementation of polio vaccination campaigns. The purpose of this study is to review and analyse the sources of information utilized by caregivers during polio supplementary immunization activities (SIAs) in Somali, Ethiopia in 2014 and 2015. Methods: data on sources of information about the polio campaign were collected post campaign from caregivers by trained data collectors as part of house to house independent monitoring. The sources of information analysed in this paper include town criers (via megaphones), health workers, religious leaders, kebele leaders (Kebele is the lowest administrative structure in Ethiopia), radio, television, text message and others. The repetition of these sources of information was analysed across years and zones for trends. Polio vaccination campaign coverage was also reviewed by year and zones within the Somali region in parallel with the major sources of information used in the respective year and zones. 57,745 responses were used for this analysis but the responses were received from < or = 57,745 individuals since some of them may provide more than one response. Moreover, because sampling of households is conducted independently during each round of independent monitoring, the same household may have been included more than once in our analysis. The methodology used for independent monitoring does not allow for the calculation of response rates. Monitors go from house to house until information from 20 households is received. Results: from the total 57,745 responses reviewed, over 37% of respondents reported that town criers were their source for information about the 2014 and 2015 polio SIAs. Zonal trends in using town criers as a major source of information in both study years remained consistent except in two zones. 87.5% of zones that reported at least 90% coverage during both study years had utilized town criers as a major source of information while the rest (12.5%) used health workers. Conclusion: we found that town criers were consistently the major source of information about the polio campaigns for Somali region parents and caregivers during polio immunization days held in 2014 and 2015. Health workers and kebele leaders were also important sources of information about the polio campaign for parents.