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Meningococcal B campaign ‘hits the road’

MEDIA RELEASE
4 April 2005

Needles on Wheels – Meningococcal B campaign ‘hits the road’


Public health nurse, Morag Tilah, Makere Moana (mum) holding her daughter Deja Davis.

The Meningococcal B (MeNZB™) immunisation programme will soon be taken out into the far reaches of Hawke's Bay.

Vaccination is free to all children and young people aged between six months and 20 years old. But there is concern about the numbers of babies and preschoolers, as well as those under 20 who’ve already left school, who might miss out because of access.

Under the umbrella of the Hawke's Bay District Health Board, several Maori health providers are to take the vaccine on the road to outlying areas such as Te Haroto and Porangahau.

Hastings-based Kahungunu Health Services (Choices) is coordinating the outreach programme as the lead provider, working with Central Hawke's Bay-based Te Whatuiapiti Trust,and Napier’s Te Kupenga Hauora. Te Taiwhenua O Heretaunga in Hastings also holds an outreach contract.

Choices community awareness coordinator Rongomai Manapori says patients who have not returned contact with their GP will be referred to the programme through DHB immunisation coordinator.

Where and when they go for their vaccinations will depend on the nature of the referrals, she says.

“We’re focusing on creating awareness out there about what meningingococal disease can do to our children. The programme, with its mobile van and team of vaccinators, will also improve access to health for people in these areas.”

The Choices team is made up of coordinator Te Rina Murphy, Rongomai Manapori coordinating community awareness, resources and training, nurses Haley Bennett and Stella Hokianga who are responsible for the vaccines and the equipment and Beverly Te Huia, who will be looking after data entry, reports and enrolments.

END

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