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Diversity Impact on Vaccine Equity in Kenya

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This publication was produced by MRG’s partner(s) with MRG. It remains the property of the organization(s) in question and does not necessarily reflect the views of MRG.

The outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic saw countries adopt nationalist pro-self-tactics, closing their borders, banning exports and seizing masks as the world raced against time to develop vaccines. In the process, global supply chains were disrupted in unprecedented ways that hampered cross-border and transcontinental trade. Grand Synergy Development Initiative (GSDI) in partnership with Minority Rights Group International (MRG) is implementing a project titled Diversity: Impact on Vaccine Equality (DIVE) as an intervention initiated to better understand the impact of the pandemic across ethnic minorities and religious communities in Kenya. The DIVE project is informed by the urgent need to increase awareness and share accurate and timely information about Covid-19 vaccine uptake and confidence across the targeted counties where minority communities are located. Our findings are designed to provide opportunities to policy makers, researchers, health workers, civil society actors and the media to initiate informed decisions in the process of addressing vaccine confidence and service delivery gaps.

This Bulletin is organized as follows:

  • Context and Overview – This section provides a description of the DIVE project, the role of GSDI and MRG in the project and the context of Somali minorities in Kenya. It also contain a brief situation analysis on the impact of devolution on Covid-19 vaccine dissemination; challenges, opportunities, approaches and commitments made by the ministry of health (MoH Kenya) on the delivery and procurement of vaccine in the country.
  • Methodology – Approaches and specific tools used for data collection and analysis are elaborated in the section. The search was evaluated based on two criteria and analyzed with respect to their sentiments on four indicators also described in this section.
  • Key Findings – This section outlines the interim findings of the first results collected from Facebook through CrowdTangle social media monitor. The figures are projected showing the breakdown of vaccine confidence, reservations towards Covid-19 vaccines by ‘low’ or ‘no’ confidence levels and breakdown of distrust in authorities. All the findings included relevant qualitative findings (quotes from relevant comments)
  • Data Triangulation – To verify and better understand insights collected from the social media search, a concurrent data collection approach was adopted that involved both offline and online platforms. This section therefore explains the methodology applied to the offline penetration through radio talk shows targeting communities living in the rural settlements where internet penetration or usage is significantly low. It is followed by general observations of the radio talk shows findings on vaccine confidence and uptake.

The research findings indicate the need for determined interventions to counter negative narratives and misinformation about the authorities’ commitments on vaccine dissemination to stem their impacts from further undermining the exercise. Additional findings and detailed recommendations for steps to be taken at the national, regional and international levels will be published in the final report.

This Bulletin was published in the context of MRG’s Diversity: Impact on Vaccine Equality (DIVE) programme (2021-2022).

Filed Under: Africa, Kenya, Health, Covid-19
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