Health workers: on the front line for vaccination

 

People rate health professionals as the most important source of information for decisions on health, according to a recent European survey described in the journal “Eurosurveillance”.

“I have 31 years of experience as a paediatrician and parents trust me and bring their children to me to be immunized.”

– Paša Divanovic, paediatrician, Montenegro

“It is seldom I meet parents who don’t want their kids vaccinated but, when I do, I take time to listen and ask open-ended questions about their concerns.”

– Søren Brorson, general practitioner, Denmark

Health workers are on the front line, with direct access to the parents and caregivers who make health decisions, so they must have the right resources and training to be effective advocates for immunization.

“It is very important to ensure that all health care professionals have advocacy materials –including leaflets, booklets, video films and so on – in their daily work, so that they can show them to patients and parents and illustrate how vital it is to be vaccinated and what the consequences of not receiving vaccination could be.”

– Rahmatulloev Kiromiddin Mukhtorovich, general practitioner, Tajikistan

Immunization resource centre

WHO/Europe has produced a series of leaflets to advise health workers how to help foster constructive dialogue with parents about vaccinating their children, and to help parents reluctant to vaccinate to understand the implications of such a decision. WHO/Europe included the leaflets as part of a resource centre, to assist health professionals in their day-to-day immunization work.