Improving Immunization Services; the Guide - Medic Bulletin
Improving Immunization Services; the Guide

Improving Immunization Services; the Guide

Improving immunization services by healthcare workers is important for the general coverage of the health of the people. How to improve access to and utilization of immunization services have been a great challenge to many healthcare workers. We aim in this write-up to motivate healthcare workers to work with communities to improve access to and utilization of immunization services. We also aim to look at the best way to solve problems of resistance to immunization. Immunization is an important part of healthcare delivery. It is cost-effective and reduces the suffering and possible death that occurs from vaccine-preventable diseases. Mothers should immunize their children against the diseases that cause childhood death. Doing this will prevent unnecessary deaths. Being that it is very cheap, you wonder why many mothers do not take advantage of that.

The partnerships can differ between communities, depending on their local needs, available resources and capabilities. We guide healthcare workers and community members to initiate supports and coordinate actions to be taken towards achieving their shared goals. This would provide accessible, reliable and friendly services that are used appropriately by all. Immunization is a basic component of primary care that should be made the right of every child. Every community should assist the health providers to give them basic health care. Acceptance of immunization and coverage could be seen as a way of knowing how developed a community is. Generally, health education is the key.

It may as well interest you to read: Dangers of Self Medication & Importance of Positive Health Behaviours

OBJECTIVES OF IMPROVING IMMUNIZATION SERVICES

The main objective is to know how best to engage with the communities to deliver needed immunization services.

The specific objectives include:

  • To know the benefits of engaging and working together with communities
  • Improving immunization services provide opportunities for the community members to be involved in the process.
  • To provide an opportunity to reach people within the hinterland, especially the underserved, unreached and the non-compliant populations

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF INVOLVING THE COMMUNITY

Involving the community will make them feel that they own the programme. The recognition will make them feel the importance and they will like to do everything possible to make it work.

When you involve communities from the beginning, they will have increased trust in you and will tend to take it as theirs.

Involving communities is beneficial in many ways:

  • It helps to increase immunization coverage and reduce the rate at which people drop out.
  • It helps to reach the underserved people, making the service equitable.
  • can brings about cordial relationship between healthcare workers and the communities. This will give the community a favourable environment to give valuable feedback that will help in improving healthcare.

ENGAGING COMMUNITY MEMBERS IN IMPROVING IMMUNIZATION SERVICES

There are community members who can serve to connect the healthcare workers and the community members. For instance, trained community volunteers can provide information about:

  1. immunization and its benefits.
  2. the immunization schedules.
  3. the vaccine-preventable diseases.

ENGAGING TRADITIONAL AND RELIGIOUS LEADERS

These leaders are part of the community and they play an important role. We know that many people do not joke with their religious or traditional beliefs. People believe their opinions. They can help provide a good location for immunization services. They are particularly more needed in places that the acceptance of vaccination is poor due to traditional or religious beliefs. Engaging them will improve cooperation from the community members to improve immunization services.

ENGAGE SCHOOLS AND OTHER POTENTIAL COLLABORATORS.

Most members of a community respect teachers. They are knowledgeable. People believe them. They can learn about immunization so that they can impart the knowledge to the children. This will not only have an immediate positive effect but would be beneficial in the long term. Those well informed will likely bring their children for immunization when they grow up and start having children.

Parent Teachers Association can as well provide an opportunity for the health educators to talk to the parents during their meetings.

ENGAGING LOCAL TOWN CRIERS IN IMPROVING IMMUNIZATION SERVICES

Health workers can engage the village town criers to pass important information to the community. These people can either go from house to house to pass the information or make public announcements within hamlets using their local gong. They do this in the evening when everyone is back from the farm.

KEY MESSAGES ON IMMUNIZATION

Communities should understand the following points, in addition to the basic information on the benefits of immunization

  1. Parents have the responsibility of taking their children for immunization.
  2. Immunization is the right of every child.
  3. It saves the lives of millions of children every year by preventing serious illnesses.
  4. Immunization is free and available at health facilities and outreach centres, such as health posts, health centres, general hospitals, teaching hospitals and private hospitals.
  5. It is easier and cheaper than treatment of preventable illnesses.
  6. Immunization is good to parents since they do not need to take time off work to care for their sick children.
  7. Those who regulate health activities such as WHO approve vaccines, and they are safe and effective.
  8. Parents should take the immunization cards along with them whenever they are taking a child for immunization.

You want to read further? Then read: Increasing Appropriate Vaccination | The Community Guide

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