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Work with children to develop action plans to tackle immunisation

How to Work with Children to Develop Action Plans to tackle Immunisation

There was some spectacular news on September 8th 2022 about the success of a the Malaria Vaccine trials. It has the potential to save countless lives of children.

One hurdle will be to get the vaccine into the arms of the infants who need it. This will not only be about availability, but about people’s knowledge and understanding of the lifesaving qualities of immunisation.

Children can be mobilised as immunisation activists – checking if they have been vaccinated, asking if their siblings have been vaccinated, finding out when and where vaccinations take place, even campaigning for vaccinations.

Some children we know in India were involved in these activities, and not only did they make a difference in their own families, but later they became parents all too aware of the need and urgency to get vaccinations done for their own children. This as a result of having done real campaigning on this real issue.

Here is a sample plan for educators to adapt on the topic of immunisation. It’s an extract from our toolkit for educators cocreated by teachers and children in Mozambique.

The Aim of this Topic

To make sure that all the children in our community know what immunisation is and how immunisation helps prevent diseases.

  1. Teachers use (or adapt) and then teach messages and activities to help children understand the topic.
  2. Children find out more about the topic with their families and friends.
  3. Children plan and take action in their families and community.
  4. Children report on results and reflect on how to make it better!
A woman holding a baby stops a doctor from administering a vaccine. An arrow shows the scene changing to a doctor administring a vaccine.

Three questions to find out more from friends and family

  • What are three diseases that immunisation protects us against?
  • What are the reasons people do not get immunised?
  • Where and when are babies and young children in our community immunised?

Plan and take three types of action

These are examples only – let the children come up with their own ideas! (These will go in the text boxes.)

My own actionsA chart with sections for my actions, actions for others and group actions.

  • I can learn about the diseases that immunisation protects me against.

My actions for others

  • I learn and share the immunisation messages with others
  • I make a special birthday card for a new baby and their mother with schedule for their vaccinations to wish them a happy and healthy first year of life!
  • I make a poster of one or more diseases that can be prevented by immunisation like diphtheria, measles & rubella, pertussis, tuberculosis, tetanus & polio.

Our actions for others

  • We make up a play or story about ‘Aunty Body’, a kind, strong protector that keeps us safe and well.
  • We make up a story with ‘Superhero  Vaccinations’ fighting deadly diseases to protect us.
  • We help the health clinic and make posters for immunisation days and display them where everyone can  see them.
  • We ask a health worker to come and talk to us about immunisation.

Reflection and Results

Questions for children to reflect on their action plan

  • Do more people know about how immunisations work?
  • Do more people bring their babies and young children to be immunised?
  • Do those we taught the messages to, remember the messages? 

Examples of Results

  • Other children and families in our community know more about immunisation and why it is important.
  • More people than before bring their babies and young children to be vaccinated.
  • Many people can repeat the immunisation messages and explain why immunisation is important.

Tell the education and health officials about these results!

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