Although the Ministry of Health in India, achieved a milestone regarding measles and rubella vaccination, under Universal Coverage Programme (Ministry of Health India , 2017). However, the communication strategies need an introspection as there was a report of panic among parents due to lack of an adequate communication plan . This article would discuss the challenges faced by all the stakeholders to lack of communication plan in the project and recommends evidenced based communication strategies for the future vaccination campaign.
In India, even though Measles rubella vaccine campaign was running smoothly in the initial phase, however, fake rumours in Punjab, about the efficacy of vaccine alert the parents. For example, counterfeit videos and SMS circulated through social media and instantly create a panic among caretakers and family members of children (Hindustan Times,2018). Such news quickly jeopardises the element of trust between the public and the policymakers and further result in failure of a mass vaccination campaign. Hence, ministers and authorities urged the public to discard the fake news of dubious vaccine efficacy and follow the immunisation plan(Hindustan Times,2018).
It may argue that policymakers should anticipate the problem of fake news and prepare all stakeholders for such crisis in advanced. However, working for mass require collaboration at the various level such as Anganwadi workers, doctors, policymakers and most importantly the parents of small children. For instance, communication in measles-rubella campaign, emphasis on the launch of expensive commercials and brochures. However, an element of listening to parents viewpoints had not considered. As a result, it was a one-way communication rather than an open dialogue. Hence, depict a sense of the paternalistic role of government and failed to win the trust of the parents.
Overall, communication strategies should not limit to the mass media campaign. It must entails, the component of trust, transparency and involvement of crucial stakeholders (World Health Organization 2005 ).
Hindustan Times,2018. https://www.hindustantimes.com/punjab/side-effects-mere-rumours-punjab-health-minister-mohindra-stresses-at-mr-vaccine-drive-launch/story-JZ7Nx6JzHArte3D8parwFK.html
Ministry of Health 2017.Measles and rubella Campaign .retrieved from http://measlesrubella.in/on 07-05-2018
World Health Organization 2005 .WHO outbreak communication guidelines. retrieved from http://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/handle/10665/69369/WHO_CDS_2005_28_eng.pdf;jsessionid=7AB1C59362F568CF46F3BC483FB5F4EA?sequence=1 on 07-05-2018