Volume 101, Issue 4_Suppl
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



Seventy-five percent of children aged 12–23 months in Malawi have received all eight basic vaccinations—still leaving many children at risk. The Malawi Expanded Program on Immunization comprehensive Multi-Year Plan 2016–2020 reveals several challenges impeding immunization and disease surveillance efforts, such as the fact that non-governmental health organizations (NGHOs) and communities are minimally included in the planning, implementation, and monitoring of these activities. This article examines the extent to which NGHOs are promoting the use of social mobilization (SM) and community mobilizers (CMs) for sharing health information related to the eradication of polio, the importance of routine immunization, and the control of measles and neonatal tetanus. Data collection involved document analysis and interviews with 11 organizations in Malawi whose work contributes to the eradication of polio and control of measles and neonatal tetanus. Content analysis was used to analyze the qualitative data, whereas descriptive statistics were used to analyze the quantitative data. Non-governmental health organizations use a variety of approaches for SM, including mass media campaigns (radio and printed booklets), local skits and dramas, and home visits. Most NGHOs use training workshops and opinion leaders to impart knowledge and skills to CMs on immunization to eradicate polio and to control measles and neonatal tetanus. Major challenges faced by the NGHOs include negative attitudes toward campaigns and demotivation of CMs due to lack of financial incentives. The article concludes with a discussion of approaches to strengthen SM and the role of CMs by NGHOs.

[open-access] This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


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  • Received : 08 Jan 2019
  • Accepted : 13 Jun 2019
  • Published online : 03 Oct 2019

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