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Engaging communities

UNICEF Image: Community leaders discuss immunization plans
Pir Syed Liaqat Ali Shah (community leader) briefing his followers about the importance of Extended Program on Immunization (EPI) in a shrine in Jacobabad District, Sindh province, Pakistan.

By engaging communities, UNICEF helps make sure that immunization is universally recognised as an essential practice to protect the health of all children. UNICEF works with community leaders, civil society organizations, health ministries and media to provide caregivers with reliable information on the safety, effectiveness and availability of vaccines. Adapting immunization services to local needs and values takes into account cultural norms, gender dynamics and other social factors so that these do not stand in the way of any child being vaccinated.

UNICEF uses participatory communication strategies to increase demand for immunization. Community by community, these strategies help health workers and local public health officials tailor their services to the public so more people can access and demand vaccines. As health workers are often the primary source of immunization information for parents and caregivers, UNICEF helps health staff improve their professional skills, including interpersonal communication.



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