Immunity Charm in Afghanistan

McCann Health in India and The Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) in Afghanistan have won the Grand Prix for Good at Cannes International Festival of Creativity, for “Immunity Charm”. The Immunity Charm campaign, winner of four gold and four silvers Lions in the Pharma category, was developed to address childhood disease and mortality. Launched in April, the Immunity Charm™ consists of colored beads that represent the vaccines each child has received. Healthcare workers provide The Immunity Charm™ to mothers to place on their newborn’s wrist as a symbol of protection against disease. Each time the child is brought for an immunization, a color-coded bead corresponding to the specific vaccine received is added to the bracelet symbolizing the protective effects of the vaccine. As the child receives additional vaccines against such diseases as measles, polio, diphtheria, and others, color-coded beads are added to the bracelet.

The Immunity Charm

Afghanistan has some of the lowest vaccination rates in the world, which contribute to high levels of infant and childhood mortality especially in poor and rural communities. Diseases that are rare in the developed world are far too frequent causes of child mortality in Afghanistan. Once initial evaluation of The Immunity Charm™ is completed, plans will be developed for larger scale evaluation in clinics in Afghanistan and perhaps in other countries as well.

Dr Harshit Jain, senior VP and country manager, McCann Health India, told Brand Equity about the creative origins of the Immunity Charm campaign:

“We are the strategic partners of the Ministry of public health in Afghanistan. There was no specific brief, but we knew Afghanistan has the poorest health indicators in the world. The government was open to finding creative solutions to address this. My son was 8 months old at the time. As we watched him playing, over a dinner conversation, I observed we’d made him wear a bracelet and tended to get worried if he went out without it, since it is supposed to offer protection from evil energies. And that’s how immunity charm was born. We did the pilot for the project in a district near Kabul. Nearly 1000 kids were enrolled when we started in March, and still continue with the bracelet.”

“We are excited to work with McCann Health on the development and testing of this potentially important new tool to help us increase vaccination rates in our country,” said Dr. Ferozuddin Feroz, Public Health Minister, Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. “The Ministry of Public Health in Afghanistan is committed to testing creative solutions to difficult challenges that we face in our country.”

Immunity Charm Credits

The Immunity Charm campaign was developed at McCann Health, New Delhi

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