In her public engagement project "Effect of information, education and communication interventions on awareness, risk perception and confidence in the uptake of maternal vaccination in Ebonyi State, Nigeria," Ugochukwu Madubueze from the Federal University Teaching Hospital in Abakaliki, Nigeria, and her team created a video film on the benefits, myths and misperceptions of maternal vaccination.
The project was carried out between October 2019 and March 2020 in remote villages of Ebonyi State in Southeast Nigeria. The main project output is a short film depicting a stage drama, in which 21 role models and other people with influence in the villages educated over 600 women of reproductive age on the benefits, myths and misperceptions of maternal vaccination. In addition, they produced 3.000 pamphlets in the local dialect and distributed them to 600 women for sharing with their peers. The team trained 30 interviewers who monitored and evaluated the progress of the project using questionnaires and immunisation cards. Furthermore, through broadcasted radio and television jingles, approximately 10,000 women in Ebonyi State were sensitised to maternal vaccination in their local dialect.
Results from this project showed a significant increase in the awareness of maternal immunisation and willingness to vaccinate against vaccine preventable diseases among women of reproductive age in the rural areas of Ebonyi State. The team specifically reported an increase in the uptake of tetanus and hepatitis B vaccinations. In addition, the 21 women who acted in the movie were strengthened in their agency and ownership through participating in the play.
In conclusion, the project improved the awareness and understanding of maternal vaccination and increased risk perception, vaccine uptake and confidence to complete maternal vaccination as scheduled. All this was achieved through engaging knowledge transfer, communication, and educational methods.
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