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Jul 1, 2024   |   Blog Post

Bate-Papo Vacina! Pilot Project in Mozambique Exceeds Targets and Shows Promise for Long-Term Sustainability

Gaspar Come & Felizarda Saize discuss pictorial cards at Mudine Health Center in Namarroi District Mozambique. Photo credit: Januario Bila

By Emily Lawrence

Director - Research, Evidence & Learning

We are thrilled to announce the successful completion of the pilot phase of the Bate-Papo Vacina! (Let’s Talk About Vaccines!) Project in Zambezia Province, Mozambique. This five-year initiative, funded by Wellcome, focuses on understanding and addressing barriers to full vaccination coverage for children under two in the Namarroi and Gile districts. The project employs a collaborative approach involving caregivers, health workers and the Ministry of Health.

Pilot Exceeds Targets, Demonstrates Potential
The one-year pilot of the co-created interventions to reduce routine immunization conducted across 11 health facilities exceeded vaccination targets and demonstrates the potential for long-term success. Here are some key achievements:

a) Surpassed Vaccination Targets: The project successfully contributed to fully vaccinating 9,041 children, surpassing its annual target of 8,257.
b) Reduced Dropouts: There was a 133% reduction in Diphtheria-Tetanus-Pertussis (DPT) dropouts and a 47% increase in fully vaccinated children compared to the previous year (baseline).
c) Improvement in 6 of 16 antigens: When comparing between intervention and comparison sites, there was a gradual improvement over time in 6 of the 16 antigens which can be attributed to the implemented pilot.
d) Improved Vaccination Demand: Positive changes in caregiver knowledge, attitudes and practices led to increased participation in vaccination activities.
e) Enhanced Community Engagement: The project fostered stronger community involvement, improved immunization planning and empowered caregivers with accessible immunization education.
f) Alignment with Government Strategies: The project aligned well with existing strategies like Reach Every District/Reach Every Community, ensuring strong stakeholder support and potential for long-term sustainability.

Expansion and Future Outlook
Despite logistical and technological challenges, the project’s high fidelity to the implementation plan and robust community engagement highlights its scalability. Participants in the evaluation emphasized that health officials are fully motivated and engaged because they were involved in the development of these interventions.

They are also excited as the project is continuing beyond the pilot phase through funding from Focusing Philanthropy. This has enabled the project to expand to all health facilities in Gile and Namarroi Districts and to three other districts in Zambezia: Gurue, Lugela and Alto Molocue. The goal is to reach an additional 71 health facilities, working with a total of 789 community health workers by December 2024.
Recommendations for enhancing reach and ensuring long-term success of the project include continued support for health facilities, integration within existing structures and ongoing monitoring of long-term impacts.

The success of the Bate-Papo Vacina! Project demonstrates the value of combining Community-Based Participatory Research and Human-Centered Design in immunization programming. It offers a promising model for future initiatives to enhance immunization coverage and reduce dropouts in hard-to-reach areas.

Read the full report here.

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