All

There are many factors that affect our abilities to gets vaccines widely and completely adopted.  Some of these factors may be amenable to network approaches some not.  What we have learned from many decades of development communication research is that many different strategies are required to enact socio-cultural change.  In only a few cases have network concepts and approaches been integrated into these either implicitly or explicitly.  My attempt at reviewing and teaching network interventions (Valente, 2012) provides some perch on this type of problem, but as Jordi says, lack of data and resources; in addition to cultural and political resistance makes this a challenging problem with no ready solutions.

-Tom   

 

From: Social Networks Discussion Forum [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Jordi Comas
Sent: Friday, June 19, 2015 4:56 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Polio vaccinations

 

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Thanks for sharing.

 

It's not my area of study, but I hope others comment.  Tom Valente comes to mind as someone who would have insight.

 

Strikes me that nay network approach might be hampered by lack of information.  In Pakistan, how would we easily and accurately figure out who hubs are?  How much cell phone penetration is there in the target population?  Even if it is fairly high, how would you get people distrustful of authorities to agree to let their cell phone traffic be used to locate hubs?  Today it is a public health official; tomorrow it is national police trying to oppress me.

 

A different angle might be to focus more on the sources of resistance.  In other words, the current distribution mechanisms of the vaccine may be fine if the religious or ideological resistance can be overcome.  Identifying key local leaders or institutions who have local legitimacy and could be recruited as honest brokers or endorsers of the vaccinations might enable the current distribution system to work.  

 

Just a few early morning thoughts...

 

Jordi

 

On Fri, Jun 19, 2015 at 7:37 AM, Ebrahim Patel <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

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Dear all

I have recently come across an interesting story about the polio vaccination in Pakistan.  In recent years, the number of wild poliovirus cases has shot up in the country.  A big issue is the vaccination programme, which is not particularly welcomed in some regions due to extreme religious and dogmatic views and suspicion of an American 'conspiracy' behind the shots.  So those courageous workers that try to convince households to be vaccinated find their work to be unnecessarily difficult and even life-threatening.  Even when they are successful in vaccinating, records are not well kept (for follow-up shots) and it also leaves a large batch of others that aren't vaccinated, and so the high likelihood of spreading persists.  The following article gives more information on this:
http://www.theguardian.com/society/2015/apr/16/suspicion-slows-dangerous-work-to-eradicate-polio-in-pakistan

I'm emailing this group as my first thought was that there must be a network theoretic angle from which this problem could be approached - vaccinating the 'hubs' in the network, for example; or convincing the religious leaders (a type of hub) to vaccinate themselves, thereby influencing those around them to adopt.  Any ideas or references would be much appreciated.

Kind regards
Ebrahim

-----------------------------------
Dr Ebrahim Patel
Postdoctoral Research Assistant
Mathematical Institute
University of Oxford
Andrew Wiles Building, Radcliffe Observatory Quarter
Woodstock Road, Oxford OX2 6GG
Phone: +44(0)1865 611511
Webpage: https://www.maths.ox.ac.uk/people/ebrahim.patel
Blog: http://ebrahimlpatel.wordpress.com/

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--

Jordi Comas

"There is nothing so practical as a good theory."  Kurt Lewin

Assistant Professor
School of Management
Bucknell University
Taylor 112
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SPRING 2015 The Stakeholder Organization Site (the Hub").

 

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