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DHB does good jab

PHOTO/GETTY IMAGES

Ministry keen to hear strategy tips

ELI HILL
[email protected]

“Outstanding” immunisation rates in the region have the Ministry of Health looking to Wairarapa District Health Board for strategies to improve disappointing national statistics.

The ministry has thanked the DHB for its “commitment” to delivering high quality immunisation in its feedback on performance from January 1 to March 31.

“Congratulations on achieving good coverage across all immunisation milestones, with total coverage of 94 per cent at age eight months, 93 per cent at age 24 months and 93 per cent at age five years,” it said.

Nationally, things aren’t looking so good.

From January 1 to March 31, immunisation coverage of children who reached the eight-month milestone had decreased to 90.1 per cent while Maori infant immunisation rates dropped to 82.8 per cent, which the ministry called “highly concerning”, a DHB meeting yesterday heard.

By contrast the ministry said results for Maori immunisation in Wairarapa were “outstanding” with 95 per cent of Maori children immunised at eight months, 93 per cent at two years, and 98 per cent at five years.

“Keep up the great work. The ministry is bringing together a project team to address the inequitable decline in immunisation coverage rates,” it said.

“Please consider if there are any successful strategies that Wairarapa DHB can share with the ministry to support this project, and with other DHBs to support them to improve their overall and Maori coverage.”

Tu Ora Compass Health immunisation co-ordinator for Wairarapa Tina Brady said the success of immunisation in Wairarapa was a team effort.

“Tu Ora, Wairarapa DHB, our local medical centres and the Whaiora outreach team are working together to ensure that high immunisation rates are achieved and maintained.

“All of our medical centres have highly skilled nurses who work tirelessly to ensure that all registered patients are informed and given the opportunity for immunisation.”

Brady said staff work closely with the community

“For example, we recently supported an immunisation session with the Pacific community at St Luke’s Church [in Masterton].”

The National Immunisation Register for Wairarapa is managed by Tu Ora and records all immunisations.

Brady said the register enables close monitoring of children who are not fully immunised, to ensure that they are either followed up by their medical centre, or referred to Tu Ora’s Outreach Immunisation Service.

Outreach supports children to be immunised within their own homes if they are unable to attend their medical centre for any reason.

Number of children fully immunised by milestone ages in Wairarapa from Jan 1 to March 31

  • Eight months old – 120 of 128
  • 24 months old – 124 of 134
  • Five years old – 135 of 144

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