The measles vaccination campaign shall targetchildren below the age of two years and their families. The programwill seek to ensure that these target populations are more aware andeducated on the need to vaccinate their children against measles. Theprogram will source funding from local healthcare authorizes andother stakeholders to achieve the set goals and objectives.
Assess Needs, Assets, and Capacity for Health Education
There is need to understand the current localcommunity needs. To understand the community needs, an assessmentmust be carried out. A research by the institute of Medicine observedthat measurement, laws, and funding are some of the greatest factorsthat affect public health programs. The report thus emphasizes on theneed to carry out needs assessment in any public health initiativesto clearly mark out what the community requires for the program to besuccessful.
One key step to identify the needs will involvepreparing and analyzing community health profiles. The program’sassessment will identify the ethnic composition of the people of SCusing secondary data from government bodies. This assessment willalso analyze the religious backgrounds of the communities. Religious,ethnic and cultural backgrounds have been identified through researchas the main determinants in forming attitudes and perceptions towardsvaccination and other modern medicine aspects (Constable, etal., 2014).
The well-developed transport and communicationnetworks will act as one of the key assets in the campaign. This willmake all areas in the community targeted by the program accessible tothe program staff. Additionally, the good infrastructure iscomplemented by updated public records about the population,ethnicity and address of a huge percentage of the local population.This means that the program will be capacitated to access individualswho are viewed to be at high risks either due to their personalbeliefs or other factors with ease.
The health promotion campaign must address theseenvironmental factors encourage more measles vaccination amongchildren in the area. This involves all children and more so those ata higher risks and those that are likely to be already infected andpose a risk of spreading the disease. A recent CDC (2014) reportattributed a significant percentage of new infections in southernCalifornia and the larger USA to Chinese immigrants in the US. Thusthere is need to create urgency in increasing the uptake of measlesvaccination among young children to manage new infections in theregion. The health education bodies should create urgency in theissue by educating the public and specifically targeting the highrisks groups that comprise of person who have voluntarily chosenagainst vaccinations for religion, or personal reasons.
There is need to create awareness about theseriousness of the infections to change a relaxed attitude andbehavior towards the illness and vaccination against the illness.Majority of the people tend to ignore the need for vaccinationsespecially for young children and in effect associate vaccinationswith a range of other undesirable effects. The WHO notes about tenvaccination myths that health bodies must be willing to tackle inpopularizing vaccinations or when carrying out vaccination campaignsin various parts around the world. The
The immunization Branch of the CaliforniaDepartment of Public Health is mandated with running immunizationprograms in the state. Some of the immunization interventions targetmeasles, flue, and whooping cough among others. Ordinarily, thevaccinations are grouped in two groups for children and for adults.
Plan Health Education
The health education plan will target to promotemeasles awareness and also promote the importance of measlesvaccination for young children between 12–18 months. To attainthis, the number of children aged between one and two years that hasnot been immunized against measles should drop from by 10% in thefirst one month and by 70% in the first three months. Furthermore,within the first three months, the campaign should have identified atleast 20% of unimmunized children in Southern California within thefirst three months and at least 30% within the first four months. Byidentifying this target groups, it will ensure that more specifiededucation programs will be organized for them. Additionally, byidentifying the specific high risk groups ensures that the educationprogram achieves its main goals of improving measles awareness andpromoting uptake of measles vaccination.
Liaison with the local government authorities canhelp achieve the goals of the health plan. This can involve using thelocal authorities’ resources such as social halls for meetingsother and even using council meetings as avenues for disseminatingmeasles related health education as per the current plan.
Lack of resource can be a hindrance in achievingthe plan’s goals. For the plan to be successful there is a need toemploy extensive manpower resources to be actively involved in thecampaign and even to offer support services. For instance drivers andevent organizers will be needed to offer provide needed facilities tohold public rallies and even community education forums.
The program can be imbedded in existing state andcounty health programs. Currently, the state of California offers awide range of services that can be adapted to accommodate measlesvaccination education program. The measles education program can beembedded into the Black Infant Health program which currently seeksto promote the health of African Americans in California. Thisprograms aims to lower child mortality among African Americans tolower the current rate where African American children are more thantwice as likely as white infants to die before the first birthday.This program can thus address the target group of children between12-18 months for measles vaccination and educate their parents aboutthe need and benefits of vaccination.
The California state breast feeding programs alsotargets the same target group as the Measles awareness educationprogram. This means that the measles education program can beembedded in this already established program to educate mothers bothabout the importance of breastfeeding their infants and alsovaccinating them at the right age against Measles and otherimmunizable diseases.
III. Implement Health Education
Local community leaders and volunteers will beinvolved in the program. This is based on the assumption that localleaders have a better understanding of the local factors such asattitudes towards healthcare personnel, have won the trust of thelocal people among other factors that can affect the efficiency ofthe program. Therefore, local community leaders will be identifiedenrolled on the program and briefed about the program before it isrolled out. The community leaders will also be involved in organizingany public rallies and social meetings planned by the program tosensitize and educate the public about the need for measlesvaccination. Therefore, their training should be geared towardssharpening their competency in their assigned duties andresponsibilities.
Healthcare professionals will provide the keymessages on the need for measles vaccination. These individuals havethe technical and psychological knowhow of dealing with suchsituations as they are well trained on public health campaigns andsome have the experience.
The training is based on the Health Belief Modeland the Social Cognitive Model. The health belief model posits thathealth related behaviors are influenced by their attitudes andpsychological beliefs such as religion or faith. This model,developed by Hochbaum, Rosenstock and Kegels in the 1950’s,predicts that individuals can accept or resist medical interventionsbased on their beliefs and attitudes towards the same. The law inCalifornia recognizes the place of beliefs in public health byallowing exemption from certain vaccinations such as measles based onone’s personal beliefs of philosophical orientation (………………).Therefore, the training shall be geared towards challenging anybeliefs opposed to vaccination with health facts and addressing thebenefits of vaccination.
The other training shall be based on the socialcognitive model. The model, developed by Miller and Dollard in 1941before it was broadened by Bandura in 1963 posits that cognitive,emotional aspects influence development of behavior and itsreinforcement. This means that individual learn new behaviors fromthe environment through observational learning and have the capacityto do it. By training the program staff about these issues, therewill be in capacity to understand why certain behaviors such asopposing vaccinations have historical background from society orfamily.
The intervention will be guided by the needsidentified by the initial needs assessment. This will also be guidedby health facts from the ground and from department’s reports.Theory will play its role in determining the approach used to makethe intervention achieves its core objectives of improving measlesvaccination rates. Thus the training will be a core ground in thecampaign as it will identify the issue that they will address on theground. From the HBM and SCT, the staff will address the behaviorsthat tend to encourage people to ignore vaccinating their children.The history of these behaviors will be sought and identified. Thestaff shall counsel and talk to the parents and adults in suchgroupings or families of people opposed to vaccination. The key ideawill be to challenge their beliefs and ensure that they are convincedthat their opposition to measles vaccination is based on myths andnot scientific facts. This way, their acceptance of vaccination willensure that young children aged below two years are vaccinatedagainst measles and even other diseases. Future parents will alsounderstand the importance of vaccination and take up the practice toprotect their children and other children from infection.
IV. Conduct Evaluation and Research Related toHealth Education
To ensure that the program achieves it set goalsand objectives, the program will be constantly evaluated. The CDCcalls for evaluation measures to be embedded in routine programoperations to ensure continuous evaluation. This will mean thatindividual activities of the staff and the program in whole will bequestioned and necessary measures undertaken to improve competency.To do this, some of the evaluation questions will be:
Does the program staff understand its role in the program?
Does the program staff understand the importance of the program and its objectives?
Have the programs target groups been identified?
Is the response of the target groups as anticipated?
Have all stakeholders played their main roles as anticipated?
Are resources being allocated and utilized for their intended purposes?
Have short term goals been achieved?
Has the public responded to the program as anticipated in the first one month?
Are there measurable achievements to the program?
How what has been learned in the process of the program being incorporated?
Both the process and outcome/impact methods willbe used to evaluate the program. The process evaluation method willassess how the program is being delivered in the community as per theplan. This will entail question as whether the program has beendelivered as planned? Have all the staff trained achieved the levelof competency required to participate in the program? How is theprogram and its staff perceive by the target group?
The impact/outcome evaluation process will assessthe program based on results. It will seek to identify the amount ofchange in the target group as a result of the program during theprogram and at the end of the program. For instance, the number ofparents who were previously opposed to vaccinations have beenconvinced to vaccinate their eligible children will be recorded andtabulated. Additional, the previous reasons for avoiding measlesvaccinations will be noted to inform the programs future direction.
The program findings will be communicated to thestakeholders through a report that summarizes the outcome of theexercise. However, to ensure that the program achieves it goals, thefindings from will be recorded to target population during the courseof the program to motivate the public. This is based on theassumption that persons who are opposed to measles vaccinations mightchange their mind if they learn that other people previously opposedto measles vaccinations have changed.
V. Administer and Manage Health Education
The program shall be supported by the Californiadepartment of Public Health (CDPH) through the Immunization Branchand the CDC. This is because these parties are involved in financingimmunization programs and the program falls within theirjurisdiction. Other third parties financiers such corporate entitiesmore so in the pharmaceutical industry shall be encouraged to sponsorthe program given that it will offer them a chance to play theircorporate social responsibility and also free publicityGlaxoSmithkline and Pfizer as some of the larger pharmaceuticalcompanies shall be approached to sponsor the program. Resourcessupplied by these sponsors will be used to hire healthcareprofessionals, community leaders and students in healthcare relatedcourses to educate the public. Qualified healthcare professionalswill train the students, community leaders and other healthcareprofessionals who will be educators in the program.
The program organizers will need to seek legalauthority to conduct the exercise from the local and stateauthorities. Other bodies such as the drugs and poisons board and CDCwill need to offer their consent before rolling out the program.Alternatively, the program will need to seek legal advice from thestate government’s department of justice and congress to understandthe laws that govern immunization and exemption from immunization.This is because measles vaccination is not mandatory and thus theprogram will rely on convincing the target population to adaptimmunization based on the promised health benefits of immunization.From an ethical perspective, it would be morally wrong for theprogram to infringe on the rights and freedoms of the people on anygrounds in the process of popularizing vaccination. Additional, theprivacy of individuals targeted by the program must be respected.This pertains to asking question pertaining to immunization and theirhealth history and records.
VI. Serve as a Health Education ResourcePerson
Professional health organizations such as CDPH andWHO can offer important case studies on past immunization campaignsand programs. They will inform the current campaign on possiblepitfalls and challenges that can face the current program. Therefore,to make the current campaign successful, similar past campaigns needto be analyzed to understand how the current campaign can besuccessful and achieve its goals. Such case studies can be obtainedfrom these websites for free. VII. Communicate andAdvocate for Health Education
This program will identify higher risk groups thathave avoided measles vaccination. The relatively high number ofunvaccinated children in Southern California put them at risk ofinfection and also exposes other children to risk of measlesinfection. The cost of measles vaccination is considerably lowcompared to the cost of treating full blown cases. Therefore, theprogram will be to lower the burden of diseases for the populationand for the government and healthcare facilities.
The best way to achieve the programs goals andobjectives is to ensure that the communicate method chosen deliverthe message as intended to the target message. Public forums,posters, radio and newspaper announcements will sensitize the publicabout the ongoing program, community organizations and religiousorganizations shall be involved in informing the public about theprogram and encourage them to participate an collaborate with theprogram’s staff.
The staff on the other hand shall be mandated toattend all training session and receive training and qualify incarrying out the program. This will ensure that the program issuccessful. The staff shall liaise with community leaders andorganizations to identify target groups and families and educate themfree of charge about the benefits of measles vaccination for theiryoung children. The staff shall carry assistive materials such asposters and films where possible. These teaching aids are moreeffective as they capture attention better and are more effective inteaching illiterate individuals as opposed to reading materials.
The evaluation process shall be carried out by theleaders of the program. They shall collect and harmonize periodicalreports from teams leaders of staffs assigned to carry out theprogram within a given jurisdiction.
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