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Southern DHB celebrates Māori immunisation rates

Media Release

Thursday 8 December 2016

Southern DHB celebrates Māori immunisation rates

A collaborative approach across the whole health sector has proved successful in closing the gap in immunisation rates between Māori and the total population in the Southern district, and the high overall levels of protection against preventable illness.

The rate for 8 month olds being fully immunised in 2015/16 was 94 per cent for both Māori and the total population. For two year olds, 96 per cent of Māori were fully immunised compared with 95 per cent of the total population; and for five year olds 92 per cent of Māori were fully immunised compared to 91 per cent in total.

The percentage of eligible girls fully immunised for HPV was 81 per cent for Māori and 76 per cent for the total population.

Southern DHB Executive Director of Māori Health Pania Coote says that achieving equity for the Māori population in this important measure is heartening. “It is giving our tamariki a great start in life to grow up healthy and well. Not only are they protected against preventable illnesses, high levels of immunisation indicate whānau who are connected with their health system and more likely to seek support at other times. This is a testament to everyone who has been working hard in this area and we are very excited to see this reflected in the results.”

Chair of the Southern DHB Vaccine Preventable Disease Steering Group Dr Keith Reid agrees. “This is an outstanding result,” said. “We have extremely dedicated and hardworking teams working to make this happen – from midwives, Well Child/Tamariki Ora, practice nurses in general practices, our outreach teams to the Vaccine Preventable Disease Team.”

The teams focus on every child and ensure that any child overdue for immunisations has in place an individualised plan to support the immunisation.

“We work to help families whether it be a visit from our outreach team or helping to make an appointment convenient for the family – we try to accommodate every family and it’s worked.”

The success has continued since the period covered in the 2015/16 Annual Report, says Dr Reid.

In the first quarter of the 2016/17 year, Southern DHB reached the national target of having 95 per cent of eight month olds in the district are having their primary course of immunisation at six weeks, three months and five months on time, with Māori and Pacific immunisation coverage across the district equal to or better than total population coverage.

ENDS


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