Facebook, UNICEF partner to test effectiveness of immunisation messages in Nigeria

Facebook, UNICEF partner to test effectiveness of immunisation messages in Nigeria
Facebook

Facebook says it has partnered with UNICEF on an information campaign to amplify and test the effectiveness of vaccine messages on its platform in Nigeria.

Facebook, in a statement on Tuesday in Lagos, said the “Insights for Impact Project” would help promote the notion that vaccines were safe.

It said the campaign had three main objectives of communicating that vaccines were effective in protecting children from vaccine-preventable diseases, like polio and measles.

“It will help remind caregivers and communities that it is important to continue routine immunisation amidst the COVID-19 pandemic and promote the message that vaccines are safe,” it said.

Facebook noted that the campaign used three different types of messages to persuade communities of the importance of immunisation.

It said that the three types of campaign were emotional, authoritative and informative.

According to Facebook, the outcomes of the information campaign were analysed through a survey comparing people who saw the ads (the test group) with an audience of people who did not see the ads (the control group).

“If in comparing both groups, they saw that vaccine acceptance was higher in the test group, then they will know that the ads were effective in promoting the importance of childhood immunisation,” it said.

Kadeem Khan, Associate Research Manager, Facebook Data for Good, said that having worked on immunisation campaigns across several countries, he knew that finding the right message to inform communities about the importance of immunisations could be challenging.

Khan said it was noteworthy that they identified a successful strategy for building confidence in routine immunisation in Nigeria and managed to reach over 16 million people.

“The results for the authoritative messages in particular, demonstrate the efficacy of digital communication in shifting perceptions of vaccination safety and effectiveness.

“The findings highlight an opportunity to further use authoritative messages to drive immunisation outcomes,” Khan said.

He said that altogether, the findings of the campaign might inform wider vaccine-messaging in the region, including the COVID-19 vaccine.

Eliana Drakopoulos, Chief of Communication, UNICEF, Nigeria said: “At this critical time in the COVID-19 pandemic, the results of this study have been an eye-opener.

“With this information, we now know how to adjust our digital vaccine campaigns in a way that will address people’s concerns, especially now that the COVID-19 vaccine has become available in Nigeria.

“The impact of this campaign has not only been useful for our Facebook platform, but for other social media platforms as well, and the learnings will help us define our approach to be most effective with our audiences,” Drakopoulos sai.

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