Social mobilization and communication plays a critical role in the effort to eradicate polio. The goal of polio communications is to engage with communities and parents in order to facilitate demand and understanding on the importance of polio vaccination. UNICEF leads communication and social mobilization responsibilities for the GPEI, working with partners and national ministries of health to build community and household demand for immunization services, and to respond quickly and effectively to respond to community’s concerns in the event of a polio outbreak. Social and epidemiological data guides social mobilization planning and implementation to target efforts on high-risk areas and reduce the numbers of missed children. During 2011, there has been a massive investment in building and strengthening social mobilization networks across priority countries, and these networks will become the flagship of communication investments in the coming year. The GPEI now has social mobilization networks in place in most of the priority countries to help engage communities in polio eradication efforts, and to stimulate and sustain high levels of immunization demand. The intensification of efforts to engage key community members requires increased financial resources. The requirements for 2012-2013 social mobilization activities are US$ 156.97% million. In the 2012-2013 budget, 59.4% is allocated for the endemic/recently-endemic** and 20.2% for re-established countries. This includes the costs of intensified social mobilization in targeting chronically missed children in the high-risks areas of Pakistan and Nigeria, where new networks of local-level mobilizers, 1200 and 2500 in each country respectively, will be in the field by the end of 2012.Figure: Social Mobilization & Communications Requirements, by category of polio-infected countries, 2012-2013
For more information on campaign monitoring and communications data, please visit: www.polioinfo.org
**As of 28 February 2012, India is no longer considered to be a polio-endemic country. For the purposes of the current FRR, it is considered "recently-endemic".
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