Manju Mali, 34 years, is a resident of Chakraghatta Rural Municipality of Sarlahi District in Province 2. Manju belongs to a marginalized community known as ‘Dom’. She has not been to school and lives in a thatched one-room house with bamboo walls with her husband and four children- three sons aged 10, 6 and 4 years and a 11- months-old daughter. Manju is a skilled bamboo worker. The major income of their household is through selling bamboo woven fans and baskets.

Manju is very active in her community; she participates in community events and helps her peers to make decisions around various household issues.

When Mahesh Karki, the local health facility in-charge, trained by UNICEF on defaulter tracing, met Manju, he asked her to support identifying unvaccinated children in the community. He explained to her that children must receive all doses of vaccines in the schedule. Manju immediately gathered women and explained to them the benefits of immunization.

She connected the mothers of eight unvaccinated children to Female Community Health Volunteers (FCHVs) who then counselled the mothers on vaccinations and referred them to the health facility. Through the FCHVs, the mothers came to know the benefits of vaccination, they were also convinced that mild side-effects following vaccinations were usual and would not harm their children and that vaccinations will prevent their children from getting sick.

Further, Manju approached the municipality leader and explained the situation with immunization uptake in her community. She requested the leader to visit the mothers of these eight children and convince them to seek vaccinations and to continue seeking vaccines until their children were fully immunized.

The municipality organized meetings with these families where the interaction focused on importance of immunization and the role of parents. Audio and video aids were used during the program. The local leaders stressed the need of full and universal immunization. This helped the community to appreciate the value of immunization and convinced them to get their children vaccinated.