International Rescue Committee’s Fifth Child community engagement strategy, Ethiopia

Formative and process evaluation of the International Rescue Committee’s Fifth child community engagement strategy to increase immunisation in western Ethiopia

Principal Investigators: Heidi Larson, Jeannie Annan and Shiferaw Demissie 
Research organisation: International Rescue Committee

This formative evaluation assesses International Rescue Committee (IRC)’s Fifth Child integrated community engagement strategy as a potential solution to the problem of low and stagnating immunisation coverage in Ethiopia. The intervention uses a community engagement strategy that involves existing community-based health workers placed at health posts known as Health Extension Workers (HEWs), and Health Development Army members (HDAs) who are also community members. The HEWs and the HDA members will conduct home visits and use a specially developed colour-coded calendar called Mama’s Matawesha tool. The calendar is designed to promote five key health-seeking behaviours for improving the uptake of immunisation as well as maternal health services and family planning during pregnancy and the postnatal period. The intervention also includes a user-friendly, data collection and defaulter tracing tool for recording and quick analysis of the number of defaulters. The tool is a simple paper-based document template with three built-in carbon copies used at the health post level for recording basic infant and caregiver information and antigens missed for defaulters. It will be used by the HEWs, HDAs and community leaders to directly identify and follow-up with the caregivers of the defaulters. This formative evaluation will conducted in three out of 114 kebeles or wards where the intervention is currently taking place.

A Mother’s Dream: Immunization in Ethiopia

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