About the Immunization Learning Hub

Dr. Jill Olivier at the University of Cape Town led The Immunization Learning Hub in 2014

The Learning Hub members aimed to develop and communicate robust, practical evidence on the under‐documented role of local faith communities (LFCs) for community systems strengthening. They drew together diverse materials (after assessment for quality and relevance) – particularly focused on LMIC settings. Although given the lack of materials from LMIC settings, information from higher income settings is included where considered highly relevant.

Key Questions

  1. What evidence exists on religion and immunization, where is this situated, and how are related issues approached?
  2. What are the key evidence‐gaps in relation to engagement with local faith communities in relation to immunization?
  3. Is further joint‐learning useful on this specific issue, and who are the potential partners in such a process?

What we know:

  • History shows a number of intersection points between religion and immunization that extend further back than the recent surge of international interest
  • There is a high level of interest in ‘missed populations and closed communities’
  • Considerations of context and complexity are important – especially working with local faith communities
  • Getting to grip with the complex world of religion and vaccine resistance is key
  • The need for interdisciplinary and multi‐sectoral and engagement on religion and immunization
  • The need for cross‐over interdisciplinary studies and actions, which draw lessons from different areas of engagement
  • Working with local theologies is required – but there is only limited engagement of religious studies scholars and theologians in immunization response
  • The need for religiously‐competent program staff and health workers
  • Engaging religious leaders in genuine social mobilization and advocacy
  • Improving communication strategies (interpersonal, local, national and international) with and through LFCs should be considered
  • There is a huge gap in evidence on the specific nature and extent of routine immunization services provided by faith‐based health providers
  • We need to investigate ‘trust’ at all levels

Key Resources:

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Published: 2016Author:Jill Olivier
Religion and Sustainable Development issue
Published: 2016Author:Jill Olivier
Engaging Faith Communities on Immunization: What Next?
Published: 2013Author:Katherine Marshall
Building Trust in Immunization: Partnering with Religious Leaders and Groups
Published: 2014
Published: 2014Author:
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Published: 2014Author:
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Published: 2012Author:Elaine Murphy