Vaccine communication review in the Republic of Moldova
Communities of primary caregivers who question the quality and necessity of immunization are becoming an increasing challenge in the Republic of Moldova. As a consequence, general immunization coverage rates have been slightly dropping over recent years. With a view to strengthening the communications and advocacy capacity of the immunization programme in addressing these issues, a vaccine communications review was conducted by WHO/Europe in November 2014.
The review mission was conducted in both Chisinau and Tiraspol, and separate recommendations were prepared for Transnistria, where coverage rates are below 80% for some vaccines. The mission focussed on vaccine communications and advocacy tools, processes and management and on preparedness to respond to vaccine-safety-related events and outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases with improved communication efforts.
The resulting recommendations will serve as the starting point for capacity building activities to take place in 2015 in partnership with UNICEF. These will include media training of spokespersons, establishing a pool of advocates and training of health care workers, including in the Transnitia region. The immunization programme will also be invited to participate in a subregional training workshop planned for April 2015 with the overall objective of improving the capacity, quality and effectiveness of responses to vaccine-safety-related events, such as adverse events following immunization, rumours or temporary recalls of vaccines.
Vaccine review mission methodology
The review mission to the Republic of Moldova along with similar missions conducted in Kyrgyzstan and planned for Montenegro will serve as an opportunity for WHO/Europe to develop a standard and methodology for vaccine communication reviews for future application and consideration by other WHO Regional Offices.