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The journey to equity: Community Theatre for Immunisation

We want to empower caregivers to seek & fully utilise immunisation services, through community theatre developed with a human-centred design

Photo of Chijioke Kaduru

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Describe what you intend to do and how you'll do it in one sentence (required 250 Characters)

Corona Management Systems aims to engage caregivers & communities on Vaccine Preventable Diseases & Immunisation, using community theatre that showcases real stories. The content will be developed with the communities, using a human centred design.

Explain the idea (less than 2,000 characters)

42% of caregivers surveyed in 2016 MICS in Nigeria indicated a lack of awareness as a key reason for not being fully immunised. 11% of them had no faith in immunisations. We intend to empower caregivers to seek and fully utilise immunisation services, by engaging caregivers and communities on Vaccine Preventable Diseases, Immunisation and Social Determinants of Health, using community theater that showcases real stories. Communities will be engaged to take the lead in identifying some of the demand side challenges, such as AEFIs, awareness on the RI schedule, awareness on availability of sessions and knowledge about VPDs. These topics will form the foundational issues around which the community drama will be developed. Additionally, drama series will be created on income level and educational level of caregivers and how this drives interaction with immunisation services. The community theatre here will be used to stimulate social change by showcasing to the audience key aspects of immunisation, with the participants identifying issues of concern and discussing through the possible solutions, whilst enhancing tolerance for different perspectives on the same problem. The plays will then be performed in public places like Markets, in traditional meeting spaces in a community dialogue setting, in schools and in religious houses, inviting a wide array of audiences to watch including caregivers. The plays will also be recorded, for potential airing in local theatres & on TV.

Which part(s) of the world does this idea target?

  • Western Africa

Geographic Focus (less than 250 Characters)

Nigeria, with special focus on the riverine communities in the Niger-Delta.

Who are your end users and how well do you know them? (750 characters)

The EPI in Nigeria has always leveraged on community architectures in the development of micro plans for both routine and supplemental immunisation activities. Although we seek to engage directly with the caregivers, in addition to these community architectures, the key strength we see is the existence of these strong community architectures for mobilisation & their participation in EPI in our target communities. This will be key to our human-centred design of the strategy.

How is the idea unique? (750 Characters)

This idea is different because it incorporates a human-centred design, in the development of the community theatre. It also designed to have a cast of community members with real experiences and supported by theatre professionals, as opposed to professional actors playing roles. The intervention builds on existing evidence on the role of theatre in increasing awareness on key health and social issues. It also dovetails into the current National drive of assessing the effect of Immunisation interventions using Quarterly Lots Quality Assurance Sampling surveys, which allow disaggregation to the level of the communities and allow monitoring of interventions.

Idea Proposal Stage (Select 1)

  • Prototype: We have done some small tests or experiments with prospective users to continue developing the idea.

How many months are required for the project idea? (140 characters)

We aim to get 80% of caregivers in target communities demanding Immunization services as a right, after 12 months of implementation.

Organization Name (less than 140 characters)

Corona Management Systems

Type of Submitter

  • We are a For-Profit Startup or Startup Social Enterprise

Organizational Characteristics

  • Indigenous-led organization

Organization Location (less than 140 Characters)

Abuja, Nigeria

What is the current scale of your organization’s work?

  • National (expansive reach within one country)

Website URL

Tell us more about your organization/company (1-2 sentences)

We are a social enterprise that works to leverage Data and ICT in the provision of program management support for the strengthening of health systems, with special focus on high impact reproductive, maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health interventions. We also work in rural and at risk communities to strengthen community engagement for immunisation, family planning and safe motherhood services.

Who will work alongside your organization in the project idea? (750 characters)

State Emergency Routine Immunisation Coordination Centres in target States, Local Government Health Authorities and Ward Development Committees in target localities, Women Groups, Traditional and Religious leaders. They will be involved in the design, implementation & supervision of the strategy. This will ensure that the strategy is enshrined in current sub-national strategies to scale up Immunisation in those localities. Similar collaboration is ongoing on community registers for newborns. The community members, a professional theatre support group, and the health workers supporting the community are however the most critical people required to bring the community theatre to life.

How many people are on your team?


Tell us more about you and your team

Dr. Chijioke Kaduru is a Senior Technical Assistant and a Public Health Physician, providing Systems Strengthening technical assistance for the conceptualization, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of State-led interventions in Routine Immunization. Mr. Chukwuanu Okoli works as the Program Officer (Demand Generation) for PAHSSON, tasked with driving the implementation of the Nigeria revised Community Engagement Strategy for Immunization. Mr. Koko Aadum, Innovation Specialist and currently provides leadership on technology-driven innovation in the improvement of Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn & Child Health outcomes. Dr. Dambo Numonyo is a Public Health Physician who focuses on strengthening the capacity of public and private sector health workers on the delivery of RMNCH interventions, including management of AEFIs and Surveillance. Ganiyat Eshikhena is the Senior Monitoring and Evaluation Officer and works to strengthen Routine Immunization program implementation.

Overview of How Your Concept Has Evolved (5-6 sentences):

Our idea has evolved in such a way that we intend to build the community theatre around the health facility serving the catchment area and the health workers in the facility. The health workers already have a mandate to engage regularly with the communities, and this aligns with the current health system activities. Our idea has additionally evolved to inculcate an access piece into the original design, such that we will be working with the health facility to plan and set up an immunization outreach to run immediately after the theatre. This change was made towards ensuring that the desired action of vaccinating children, is made easier. We will also be looking to emphasize positive deviances in the content and create room for questions.

Viability (3-4 sentences and activity upload):

Feasibility (3-4 sentences):

This intervention works because it is designed to dovetail into the existing health system (domiciled in the health facility, works with outreach services & planned community engagement strategies) and leverage on existing community structures (community centres & community participation in primary healthcare services). During a review of testing with our prototyper, we learnt that even though our content would typically have repetitive themes, caregivers in different communities have variations in their experiences, reflected in each performance, hence each community must perform their story.

Desirability (3-4 sentences and activity upload):

One of the key insights that we gathered from our beneficiaries, were that beneficiaries cannot be uniformly categorized across the spectrum of demand, with some beneficiaries having poor awareness, and other beneficiaries aware, but not motivated enough to prioritize immunization sessions over issues like conflicting economic activity. Another key insight was on the need to ensure that health workers from the health facility serving the community participate in the development and even the performance of the theatre episodes, as it provided the health workers with an opportunity to learn some of the needs of the community members and better appreciate their pivotal roles in helping caregivers overcome common barriers.

Community Focus (2-3 sentences):

The target communities have children who have suffered from vaccine preventable diseases and have a desire to have more information about vaccine preventable diseases, and practical information about when and where to get immunisation. The theatre will be performed in community centres, on immunisation experiences of community members, acted out by volunteering members of the community, and is built on partnerships with other social structures in the community including community-based organisations, and community health volunteers and social workers resident in the community.

Community Impact (2-3 sentences):

Over 12 months of implementing the idea, we expect: - 80% of newborns in target communities receiving their first doses of immunisation within the 2 weeks of birth - 80% of all eligible children in the community receiving their full complement of routine vaccines - <5% of children being under/unimmunised because of immunisation sessions at inconvenient times through engagement of community members in session planning - an increasing number of caregivers learning about immunisation from peers and family friends - 80% of caregivers in target communities demanding Immunisation as a right.


Join the conversation:

Photo of Ashley Tillman

Hi Chijioke Kaduru I'm sorry if I missed this in your post, but in your prototypes how do you incentivize people to attend your shows? What's the interest level within the community?

Photo of Chijioke Kaduru

Hi Ashley Tillman Thank you for asking. We do not incentivise people to attend the shows, even though we provide light refreshments. However in implementing the intervention through the health facility and in engaging stakeholders in the community to take the lead in convening community members for the show, community members attend in good numbers. This is because they see the show as a part of their engagement with the health facility and by proxy, the Government and the health system. The lesson there for us, has been to reinforce the need to align the activity with EPI and wider health system interventions in the target communities, as a key thrust to sustaining community engagement and interest.

Photo of Ashley Tillman

Thanks so much for the additional context!

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