Women volunteer brigade members fight myths about COVID-19 vaccines
The Cut the Transmission campaign, developed by the Ministry of Health (MINSA) and supported by UNICEF, involves the participation of hundreds of women volunteers from communities all over the country.
Nicaragua.- With the support of UNICEF and the commitment of hundreds of women volunteer brigade members, the Nicaraguan Ministry of Health reached communities of different ethnic groups in the country and is working to debunk the myths associated with COVID-19 vaccination.
In Matagalpa, women brigade members joined the Cut the Transmission campaign implemented by MINSA, with the support of UNICEF, in Nicaragua, determined to stop the COVID-19 pandemic. One of them is Rosario Suárez, a community leader who coordinates the local health brigade in the Pancasán neighborhood. In this municipality, the Community Health Network is made up of 533 women and young people.
“The campaign messages were essential to bring the right information to our neighbors, although our biggest challenge was to mobilize all the people that were already willing to get vaccinated,” explains the community leader, while her face lights up when proudly acknowledging the result of her work. Rosario and her brigade colleagues visited 273 families, ensuring that they completed their vaccination schemes.
Convinced of the importance of debunking myths and misinformation about vaccines, Rosa Quintero became a spokesperson for the multi-ethnic campaign in Bilwi. When the vaccines arrived in her community, Rosa decided to get vaccinated and encouraged her mother and father to do the same. “After my whole family got the vaccine, I felt motivated to tell my neighbors about the vaccines; and when I saw that they were interested and asked me where they should go and when, I then had the courage to go door-to-door throughout the neighborhood,” she says.
As part of the communication strategy developed by MINSA, with UNICEF’s support, women brigade members in Bilwi received materials in their own language to disseminate among their neighbors. Through videos, radio spots and other formats, the campaign was delivered in miskitu “Cokau wan alkaia apia bamna”; “Kot di kantiejosnis” in Kriol; and “Cortá El Contagio” (Cut the Transmission) in Spanish.
“It made us feel that we were taken into account, and that we could trust what we saw, heard or read, because it’s not the same to hear it in Spanish as in our own language”,
Rosa Quintero says she feels safe now that she and her family are fully vaccinated. “Kainam kahbaika karna dauks; bakuna ba sabi danh dauks” says this young mother in Miskito, which in English translates as: “Vaccines protect you; complete your vaccine doses,” one of the messages of the Cut the Transmission campaign.