This qualitative research study implemented in the last quarter of 2020 sought to understand the opportunities, barriers and facilitators that the COVID-19 pandemic brought for integration in health campaigns. Faced with delayed timelines, risks of expired commodities and mitigation efforts to prevent SARS-CoV-2 transmission, there was a need to find efficiencies in health campaigns in order to prevent losses to public health gains made over the last decades.
The research team carried out a series of virtual in-depth interviews with 26 individuals working across five health domains (Vitamin A, Vaccine-preventable diseases, Polio, Malaria, and NTDs), across different roles (donors, implementing partners and Ministry of Health health campaign personnel) and from five countries (Guyana, Indonesia, Côte d’Ivoire, Ethiopia and Nigeria).
Results showed that the global pandemic has opened doors for new ways of working across health campaigns, including new forms of integration. Health campaigns faced increased pressure to restart following cessation of activities in the spring of 2020. Results of the pause of health campaigns resulted in disease outbreaks and risked the expiration of valuable commodities. New partnerships and collaborations were formed to enable health campaigns to re-start with a wider reach.
Many of the enablers mentioned by participants across the health domains were also considered to be barriers, depending on the context. Of note were the following themes: importance of coordination across the different domains to be integrated; understanding the optimum combination of commodities; considerations regarding data management for integrated campaigns; coordinated logistics and timeline of activities and; the impact of campaign integration on human resources. Across all informants, there were also some factors that were identified as crucial to successful integration: strong leadership, supportive political will and positive personal relationships that support effective collaboration.
Suggested citation: Krentel, Alison and associates. “Opportunities and Barriers to Health Campaign Integration Across Vitamin A, Immunisation, Polio, Neglected Tropical Diseases, and Insecticide Treated Bednet Distribution: Voices From the Field.” Research generated for the Health Campaign Effectiveness Coalition, The Task Force for Global Health. 26 March, 2021.
This research was also presented at the first Test & Learn event. View the recording of the event in English, French and Spanish here.