Tuesday 24 April 2012
Immunisation Results Due to “Concerted Effort and Commitment”
Lakes DHB says its success in making inroads on the Immunisation Health Target has been the result of a concerted effort and commitment by all child health providers and health professionals.
Late in 2009, Lakes DHB sat at the bottom of the DHBs’ ranking for the Increasing Immunisation Health Target, when it achieved 65 percent against a target that at that time required 85 per cent of two year olds to be fully immunised by July 10.
The ranking saw Lakes DHB get underway with a campaign to focus on improving childhood immunisation rates. The DHB’s Community Paediatrician Dr Johan Morreau says immunisation is one of the most important medical interventions to prevent serious disease and is also one of the safest.
“Childhood diseases like whooping cough and many forms of meningitis can cause death or brain damage to a baby and are preventable. Immunisation for these has resulted in the numbers of babies being admitted to our children’s wards dropping significantly over the last 15 years. However we have to keep immunising to maintain this, otherwise the problems will return,” said Dr Morreau.
The campaign over the past couple of years saw a focus on a number of strategies to improve the immunisation rates including:
• Working with and supporting providers of immunisations
• Ensuring the availability of accurate information about immunisation and when and where to get immunised
• Engagement with Maori about how best to improve Maori immunisation
• Education of providers of health and social services to pregnant women and mothers of newborn babies to ensure all immunisation messages are accurate and consistent
• Ensuring parents have the right information about immunisation and making sure all newborn babies are registered with a GP and the National Immunisation Register.
At the April meeting of the Lakes District Health Board, Board members heard that the DHB has achieved the Health Target of having 95 per cent of two year olds fully immunised by July this year.
The DHB says while immunisation largely belongs in primary care, the DHB has a responsibility to provide leadership, co-ordination and consistency around immunisation across the region.
Lakes DHB Chief Executive Cathy Cooney says many staff from health providers across the district have played a key role in advancing the health of children. She says it is a vastly different story today than the results of two and a half years ago, and everyone who has played a role in the increased results should be congratulated.
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