1921
Volume 104, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645

Abstract

Abstract.

Since 1999, the CORE Group Polio Project (CGPP) has developed, refined, and deployed effective strategies to mobilize communities to improve vaccine uptake for polio (and other vaccine-preventable diseases such as measles) and conduct surveillance for infectious disease threats in high-risk, border, and hard-to-reach locations. CORE Group Polio Project teams have been called upon to address the COVID-19 pandemic, and, like with polio, the pandemic response is impacted by stigma in all areas of response, from health education, testing, contact tracing, and even treatment for infected individuals. The CGPP has reached back into its polio experience and is redeploying successful community engagement activities to address stigma as part of the COVID-19 response. Across country programs, community health volunteers communicate risk and behavior change at the household level by integrating health education and promotion activities with a focus on practical measures of COVID-19 prevention. Moreover, leveraging established and trusted partnerships with community networks and community leaders are providing lessons that can be adopted by the global community. The CGPP offers three overarching recommendations to curb stigma: 1) facilitating inclusive community engagement, 2) leveraging existing community networks and 3) cocreating with community leaders.

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

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  • Received : 09 Oct 2020
  • Accepted : 07 Nov 2020
  • Published online : 30 Nov 2020
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