RIVER-EU workshop on 10 November – A participatory approach to identifying vaccine uptake interventions with underserved communities

16th European Public Health Conference

Date: 10 November 2023
Time: 15.10 – 16.10 (GMT+1)
Location: at the Convention Centre Dublin, Ireland

Resilient and equitable health systems should be responsive to the diverse needs of their populations and eliminate barriers tied to culture, religion, or ethnicity. Ensuring accessible vaccination for all is a cornerstone of preventing infectious diseases. We are delighted to announce that RIVER-EU (Reducing Inequalities in Vaccine uptake in the European Region – Engaging Underserved communities) project’s consortium members will host a workshop at the 16th European Public Health Conference (EPHC) to delve into the critical topic of fostering trustful relationships to bridge gaps in vaccination access.

Event description

RIVER-EU addresses disparities in childhood vaccination access among migrant communities in Greece (with a focus on measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) and human papillomavirus (HPV)), Turkish and Moroccan females in the Netherlands (focus on HPV), Ukrainian minorities in Poland (focus on MMR and HPV), and marginalized Roma communities in Slovakia (focus on HPV). Across these underserved communities, substantial barriers within health systems have been identified, such as a lack of culturally and linguistically appropriate information, limited healthcare capacities, coordination challenges, financial burdens, and more.

Based on a realist review, RIVER-EU has scrutinized 36 publications on evidence-based interventions aimed at increasing MMR and HPV vaccination coverage among underserved communities. To identify effective and transferrable solutions that tackle these barriers, a profound understanding of the context is vital. Equally important is the active involvement of various stakeholders from underserved communities in this investigation. RIVER-EU employs the Participatory Action Research (PAR) approach to identify and develop interventions in close collaboration with these communities. Building trustworthy relationships with stakeholders to identify and decide upon interventions is a pivotal but often overlooked aspect of the process.

In this workshop, we aim to unveil the “black box” of forging trustful collaborations with stakeholders from underserved migrant communities and ethnic minorities to pinpoint potentially transferrable interventions. We’ll discuss strategies for community involvement, both the challenges and facilitators encountered, and the valuable lessons learned.

The workshop will comprise five 10-minute presentations, each followed by a moderated Q&A session engaging the audience in sharing their experiences. After the presentations, a moderated discussion will draw common threads in relationship building across different contexts and explore the contextual specifics of co-creating knowledge with underserved communities.

Speakers include

Mrs Tamara Schloemer and Dr. Danielle Jansen, Principal investigator, University Medical Center Groningen (UMCG), RIVER-EU project coordinator, will both chair the meeting.

To register for the conference, please follow the link.