The Vital Drop: Communication for Polio Eradication in India explains why communication is critical in ensuring the success of public health initiatives. Since a significant outbreak of polio in the country in 2002, several innovative strategies were introduced to ensure better outreach and efficacy of the intensified pulse polio initiative. This book records the communication journey that began in 2002 through important innovations aimed at including segregated and marginalised populations, as well as a very successful mass media campaign featuring cine star Amitabh Bachchan. An important lesson learnt was that for any public health communication to be successful, it had to be data driven. At the same time, it was essential for the initiative to generate data to demonstrate its effectiveness. Communication which was once regarded a `soft science` has now evolved to the extent that it can generate data that is verifiable and drives the intervention further.
Key features of the book include:
- It describes the variety of communication initiatives undertaken to reach out to India`s large, diverse, segregated and mobile populations.
- It highlights the emphasis on evidence-both social and epidemiological-and the choices, approaches and course corrections in determining communication interventions.
- It outlines the importance of the sophisticated surveillance and a frontline communication network.