March 24-25, 2014
This project was supported by The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
The goal was to identify and convene key scholars and religious leaders who had both opinions for and against immunization. IIPC was able to work with this diverse and different group of people to issue the Dakar declaration which was accepted and signed off by all the participants to the conference.
The International conference on “Vaccination and Religions: perspectives and challenges” – Dakar, Senegal in the period from 24-25 March, 2014 was hosted by the Ministry of Health, HE the President of Senegal was the guest of honor and patronage of the event. Shaikh Abdallah Bin Bayyah, the founder of the Global Centre for Renewal and Guidance was the main facilitator of the conference. This conference brought together more than 80 prominent African religious leaders (primarily from West Africa) with health professionals and actors from Ministries of health, WHO, UNICEF and academia to identify the challenges associated with vaccination in resistant and hard-to-reach communities in Africa. The participants engaged in a series of intensive deliberations and consultative sessions about Vaccination and Religion. The Dakar Declaration addressed many concerns of religious leaders and supported the immunization efforts in Africa. The summit confirmed the findings in the research; attendees agreed that chief among the reasons for vaccine resistance is misinformation about the safety of vaccines and their compliance with religious edicts. The summit therefore culminated with the Dakar Declaration on Vaccination, a key convention adopted by traditional and religious scholars and leaders for supporting immunization efforts across Africa in religious and culturally sensitive areas. The Declaration provided examples of texts from the Qur’an to show that vaccines were acceptable (and even required) by Islam. The document also provided scientific and factual data highlighting evidence that vaccines are medically safe and necessary to mitigate the millions of vaccine-preventable deaths.
July 2015 – Dec 2017
This project was supported by The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The purpose of this project is to assist in accelerating the immunization of vulnerable children in SSA, through the implementation of the Dakar Declaration by extending its acceptance from the religious leaders, and by providing all the support material translated into local languages to assist Imams carry the message at the local level. Through this investment, IIPC seeks to facilitate establishing a strong faith-based advocacy for immunization. The activities were designed to follow up on the initial engagement that resulted in the Dakar Declaration during the International conference “Senegal Summit on Religion and Vaccination” conducted in Dakar, Senegal, March 24-25, 2014. The Side Forum of Eminent African Religious Scholars & Traditional Leaders on Immunization Advocacy was held on February 23rd, 2016 in Addis Ababa in conjunction with and immediately preceding the African Union and World Health Organization’s Ministerial and Stakeholder’s Conference on Immunization in Africa. The Side Forum of Eminent African Religious Scholars & Traditional Leaders on Immunization Advocacy, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
The mid-term independent evaluation report highlights the following findings: