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April 24 marks the start of the World Health Organisation’s, ‘World Immunisation Week’, an international event held to raise awareness of vaccine preventable diseases and its important role in preventing the spread of diseases in the community.
To emphasize the importance of immunisation in the community, South Western Melbourne Medicare Local (SWMML) will be providing local healthcare clinics with immunisation resources and is encouraging the Wyndham and Hobsons Bay community to speak to their local GP and ensure their immunisations are up-to-date.
Community GP, Dr Ross Drewe warns that locals cannot afford to become complacent and praises Wyndham’s refugee population for participating in the vaccination catch-up program.
“People become complacent when diseases are not common within their community but many refugees have seen deaths due to preventable infectious diseases in refugee camps and are grateful for the opportunity to immunise their children.
“Some communities have higher rates of chronic viral diseases, such as hepatitis B and C, and we have an important role in screening the community and ensuring everyone is immune,” Dr Drewe says.
Local GP, Dr Lester Mascarenhas says the best way to protect the local community is by ensuring everyone is immunised against preventable illness.
“Immunising your children is the best way to protect them and your local community from preventable serious illnesses,” Dr Mascarenhas says.
The Department of Health is also encouraging people planning to travel to check their vaccinations are up-to-date.
“People are often confused about travel vaccinations as they are separate from the Australian standard childhood vaccinations. They are in most cases not obligatory but can save you getting unpleasant diseases like typhoid, whilst overseas,” Dr Drewe says.
For more information visit the betterhealth.vic.gov.au/immunisation website.
Healthcare professionals looking for resources can visit the following websites:
Factsheet for health professionals: http://hpv.health.gov.au/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/HPV-Prof-Fact-Sheet-2014_LR.pdf
Resources can be ordered here: http://hpv.health.gov.au/order-resources/#.U0dWo03NtaT or alternatively contact [email protected] to have resources sent out to them.
Immunise Australia Resources:
Whooping Cough Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (poster): http://immunise.health.gov.au/internet/immunise/publishing.nsf/Content/47A78051D236B8F2CA257BA5008376BD/$File/whooping-cough-poster.pdf
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander ‘protect your child against 4 diseases’ (poster): http://immunise.health.gov.au/internet/immunise/publishing.nsf/Content/645DB42B1BF35D1FCA257BB9001FE9A5/$File/MMRV-Indigenous-poster.pdf