The guidelines presented in this workbook were created for communication and programme officers and their immunization partners seeking to develop and maintain strong working relationships with religious leaders and groups. They also suggest what actions might be taken when a religious leader or group organizes resistance to immunization. While the guidelines provide an overall framework, they do not offer specific health messages based on religious texts.
The guidelines also suggest ways to reinforce a group’s own organizational structure so that leaders and their followers stay actively engaged in supporting immunization and other health programmes. Three case studies illustrate how alliances were built in Sierra Leone, Angola and India to overcome resistance against routine immunization and polio eradication. The studies are intended to illustrate processes that have worked, rather than models to follow when working with religious groups.