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Leveraging Food Distribution Networks to Increase Knowledge

Jessica Craig of the Center for Disease Dynamics, Economics and Policy in the U.S. will use existing food distribution networks in low-income countries to publicize the importance of vaccination and inform caregivers when, where, and how to access local vaccine services by printing them on food labels, food and water carrying tools, and receipts. They will test whether their approach can improve vaccination rates using one rural and one urban area each in Kenya and in the Central African Republic. They will map their food distribution systems and health service clinics and consult local healthcare workers on the design of vaccine information materials to reach both literate and illiterate populations. They will evaluate the number of caregivers interacting with the materials using surveys in clinics, as well as the change in vaccination rate before and after a six-month period with materials in circulation. The approach is relatively simple and cost-effective because it leverages an existing network with a wide audience, and requires no additional work from frontline healthcare workers. It is also adaptable to any setting with a food distribution network, and can be expanded to deliver other types of health information.

More information about Increasing Demand for Vaccination Services (Round 23)

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The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is part of the Grand Challenges partnership network. Visit www.grandchallenges.org to view the map of awarded grants across this network and grant opportunities from partners.