The Vital Drop is a book on the success of the Polio campaign in India. Since the last major polio outbreak in India in 2002, several innovative and creative strategies have been employed to ensure that every child is reached, and the programme has been a major success.
This book is an important record of the communication journey by UNICEF that began in 2002, and explains how the programme became such a success. It helps explain why communication is such a 'vital drop' not only for polio eradication, but also in the wider interest of child health and well-being.
The book explores the variety of communication initiatives undertaken to reach out to the country's diverse, segregated and mobile communities-especially in the endemic northern states. The book lays emphasis on evidence-both social and epidemiological-and shows the choices, approaches and course corrections that were galvanized to support polio eradication by families as well as communities. Also, the sophisticated surveillance and communication network described in detail can be used to improve the outreach and efficacy of other public health programmes.