What is EBODAC?
In response to the ongoing Ebola virus crisis the Ebola Vaccine Deployment, Acceptance and Compliance (EBODAC) consortium has been developing strategies and tools to promote the acceptance and uptake of new Ebola vaccines, to help the right persons receive the right vaccine at the right time. According to the WHO, good outbreak control relies on a package of interventions namely, community engagement, contact tracing and social mobilisation.
EBODAC uses community engagement, enabling technologies such as iris scanning and phone messaging as well as clear communication methods to build trust and address misconceptions surrounding the vaccine in the community.
EBODAC is working to build local knowledge and capacity and strengthen health systems by working with Ministries of Health and Community Health Workers by providing training and preparedness activities for the potential future deployment of a licensed vaccine. Funded by the European Union, our partners in the consortium are Janssen Pharmaceuticals, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and Grameen Foundation.
Where are we working?
World Vision Ireland, as part of the EBODAC consortium, has played a key role in supporting clinical trials of Ebola Vaccines in Sierra Leone. Since 2015, we have worked closely with our local partner organisation, World Vision Sierra Leone to implement a number of innovative strategies and tools to support communications and community engagement for a series of clinical Ebola Vaccine trials.
World Vision works closely with local communities through a team of Community Liaison facilitators to address rumours and misinformation surrounding Ebola and Ebola vaccines, as well as ensuring participant retention in the trials through follow up visits and regular community stakeholder gatherings.
The EBODAC consortium has also developed a number of innovative technologies to enhance participant identification and retention in the trials.
EBODAC uses a unique biometric kit that scans the eyes of volunteers and takes their finger prints, so that participants can be easily identified throughout the trial period and identified during their clinic visits.
The MOTECH platform supports clinical trial teams to effectively recall participants to receive the second dose of the prime-boost vaccine regimen or attend scheduled clinic visits. It has been successfully deployed and adapted to the needs of a multilingual population with a high rate of illiteracy and a lack of familiarity with clinical trials
MOTS (Mobile Training and Support)
The MOTS platform aims to strengthen the training provided to Community Health Workers. Interactive training modules were developed in line with the national health curriculum to provide community health workers with refresher training on vaccines and emergency response practices through an interactive voice response (IVR) system. Training materials are delivered to the mobile phones of remote workers as audio files in local languages, in order to make the training as effective as possible and accessible even to those with limited literacy. CHW’s can listen to the training materials in their own time, giving them greater flexibility in their learning and reducing the burden on the Ministry of Health to organize physical trainings.
To find out more about EBODAC go to www.ebovac.org/ebodac/
Ebola Vaccine Communication, Community Engagement & Compliance Management (3C) Gap Analysis Tool
The 3C Gap Analysis Tool enables Governments and stakeholders to assess their preparedness to deploy Ebola Vaccines in the areas of Communication, Community Engagement and Compliance Management. World Vision Ireland developed the 3C Gap Analysis Tool in a two-year co-design process alongside the Ministries of Health in Sierra Leone, Senegal and Uganda and with inputs from academics, researchers and practitioners in the field of Ebola responses.
A digital version of the 3C Gap Analysis Tool is currently in development and being tested alongside key health planners within the Ministry of Health Uganda. The digital version of the tool will enable users to sign into a country-specific dashboard and complete the tool online, while simultaneously providing real-time analytical feedback on 3C preparedness in an intuitive and user-friendly format. World Vision Ireland will pilot the digital tool with the Ministry of Health Uganda later this year and plan to release the full version of the Ebola Vaccine Digital Gap Analysis Tool in November 2020.
Communication, Community Engagement & Compliance Management (3C) Strategy for Ebola Vaccine Deployment
World Vision Ireland is working alongside the Ministry of Health Uganda to develop a National Communication, Community Engagement and Compliance Management (3C) Strategy for Ebola Vaccine Deployment.
Uganda is a key country for Ebola vaccine deployment preparedness activities due to its history of Ebola outbreaks and close proximity to DRC, a country with ongoing Ebola outbreaks. The National 3C Strategy for Ebola Vaccine Deployment will take into account key contextual issues for Ebola Vaccine deployment within Uganda and promote the success of any future vaccine deployments in the country.
Democratic Republic of Congo
The WHO declared a new outbreak of the Ebola virus disease (EVD) in DRC in August 2018, the 10th such outbreak in the country. World Vision Ireland as part of the EBODAC consortium began supporting the clinical trials of Ebola Vaccines in DRC in 2019. We have been working closely with our partner organisation, World Vision DRC, to develop and implement communication and community engagement strategies and to support the use of enabling technologies.
EBODAC is supporting the development and roll out of communication tools and a community engagement strategy. This includes technical support training, field visit reviews and cross border engagements between DRC and Rwanda on rumour management and best practices in addressing rumours or challenges.
In DRC, World Vision has a dedicated Community Engagement Team who are working with local communities to address the stigma surrounding Ebola, common rumours and misconceptions of the disease and Ebola vaccination.
World Vision support Community Health Workers (CHWs) who conduct household meetings to educate communities about the vaccine, address any questions or concerns and follow up with participants to encourage them to return for their boost (2nd) dose of the vaccine and tracing of participants who have missed their boost dose.
We have also trained faith leaders, women and youth leaders in Channels of Hope for Ebola to facilitate the mobilization of participants for vaccine uptake and compliance.
EBODAC is also supporting the use of MOTECH (see description above) in the DRC vaccine trials, which is utilised to remind participants of their scheduled clinic appointments.
3C GAP Analysis Tool
A shortened version of the 3C Gap Analysis Tool – the Rapid Assessment Checklist was piloted in the Ebola outbreak areas in DRC in December 2019. The tool is for use in an outbreak setting, its piloting in DRC provided feedback on the appropriateness and usability of the tool in an outbreak setting and contributed to the DRC response to the EVD outbreak. EBODAC will also conduct a comprehensive country level Gap Analysis with the Ministry of Health in DRC to identify gaps and support the bridging of those gaps.
Although Rwanda has not had an Ebola outbreak, due to its proximity to DRC and the high levels of cross border travel between DRC and Rwanda the country has enacted Ebola preparedness activities.
Rwanda launched their “Umurinzi” vaccination campaign utilising the J&J vaccine in December 2019, at the same time as DRC, marking the first ever cross border vaccination campaign.
In Rwanda, the EBODAC consortium, has supported the procurement and deployment of Biometric kits (see description above) which are used to identify participants during their clinic visits and for data management.
Local Rwandan Non-Governmental Organisation, Rinda Ubuzima has been mandated by the Ministry of Health to lead on all community activities under the Umurinzi vaccination campaign. EBODAC has been working with Rinda Ubuzima to develop community engagement tools, support the development of the community engagement strategy and its implementation and to adapt the MOTECH (see description above) platform to support the continuous engagement of participants and recall them for their 2nd dose of the vaccine.
In support of Rinda Ubuzima, EBODAC has provided technical trainings on the use of several EBODAC tools (including EBODAC community engagement materials) and shared lessons learned by seconding staff from the clinical trials in Sierra Leone to Rwanda. In addition, Community Health Workers (CHWs) involved in the mobilization of communities for the vaccine, have been trained using MOTS (see description above).
- A guidebook on Community Engagement, Communications, and Technology for Clinical Trials in Outbreak Settings. Click here
- Power, fairness and trust: understanding and engaging with vaccine trial participants and communities in the setting up the EBOVAC-Salone vaccine. Click here
- Making enabling technologies work in Prime-Boost vaccination programs. Click here
- Controversial Ebola vaccine trials in Ghana: a thematic analysis of critiques and rebuttals in digital news. Click here
- Overcoming the challenges of iris scanning to identify minors (1–4 years) in the real-world setting. Click here
- Mobile training and support (MOTS) service—using technology to increase Ebola preparedness of remotely-located community health workers. Click here
- Assessment of the Readiness of Community Health Workers to Participate in a Mobile Training and Support Services Innovation: Results of a Functionality Assessment in Bo District, Sierra Leone 2018. Click here
This project has received funding from the Innovative Medicines Initiative 2 Joint Undertaking under grant agreement EBODAC (grant nr. 115847). This Joint undertaking receives support from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme and EFPIA.