Public and Population Health

Whangarei, New Zealand

Public and Population Health

Whangarei, New Zealand
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Rumball-Smith J.,Public and Population Health | Kenealy T.,University of Auckland
The New Zealand medical journal | Year: 2016

AIM: In a region with high rates of immunisation refusal, we examine whether refusing an immunisation at 6 weeks (the first scheduled immunisation) predicts the pattern for subsequent scheduled immunisations, and the characteristics of those who declined these immunisations.METHOD: We used data from the National Immunisation Register to identify 11,972 children born between 1 January 2009 and 31 December 2013 (inclusive), and who had their first immunisation (due at 6 weeks age) in Northland, New Zealand. At each immunisation event, individual vaccines are recorded as being delivered or declined. This cohort was 'followed' to determine which of these children received or declined the scheduled 3-month and 5-month immunisations.RESULTS: Immunisation providers delivered a full immunisation programme to 10,828/11,927 (90%) of the cohort. Caregivers of 897 (7%) of children declined the 6-week vaccination. Of this group, 872 (97%) also declined the 3-month and 850 (95%) declined the 5-month immunisations, constituting 872/962 (91%) and 850/923 (92%) of all declined immunisations, respectively. In the decline group, there was variability with primary care practice, and differences according to ethnic group and deprivation profile.CONCLUSION: Increasing Northland's immunisation coverage may require primary care providers to more actively engage with declining caregivers prior to the 3-month and 5-month vaccinations. Immunisation information and decision-making programmes targeted at parents and providers in the antenatal and prenatal period may also be of benefit, in addition to considering regulatory and incentive strategies.


Shetty A.,Public and Population Health | Mills C.,Public and Population Health | Eggleton K.,University of Auckland
Journal of Primary Health Care | Year: 2014

INTRODUCTION: Reducing the rate of acute rheumatic fever nationally by two-thirds by 2017 is a New Zealand Ministry of Health priority. Northland District Heāalth Board (DHB) has high rates of rheumatic fever, disproportionately impacting on Māori children and young people. School-based programmes and general practice both contribute to rheumatic fever prevention in detecting and appropriately treating group A streptococcal (GAS) pharyngitis. AIM: The aim of this study was to assess adherence by general practitioners and school-based sore throat programmes to national guidelines for the management of GAS pharyngitis in Northland. METHODS: Laboratory and pharmaceutical data were obtained for children and young people aged 3-20 years who had GAS positive throat swabs in Northland laboratory services between 1 April and 31 July 2012. Data were analysed separately for general practice and the school programmes for rheumatic fever prevention. RESULTS: One in five of those children presenting to general practice with a positive throat swab and complete prescription data did not receive treatment according to national guidelines, while appropriate treatment was offered to more than 98% of children accessing school-based programmes. A significant proportion of those seen in general practice received antibiotics not recommended by guidelines, an inadequate length of treatment or no prescription. There were no significant differences in the management of Māori and non-Māori children. DISCUSSION: There is room for improvement in general practice management of GAS pharyngitis in Northland. School-based management of sore throat provides high-quality management for children at high risk of rheumatic fever.


PubMed | Public and Population Health Unit, University of Auckland and Public and Population Health
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Journal of primary health care | Year: 2014

Reducing the rate of acute rheumatic fever nationally by two-thirds by 2017 is a New Zealand Ministry of Health priority. Northland District Health Board (DHB) has high rates of rheumatic fever, disproportionately impacting on Maori children and young people. School-based programmes and general practice both contribute to rheumatic fever prevention in detecting and appropriately treating group A streptococcal (GAS) pharyngitis.The aim of this study was to assess adherence by general practitioners and school-based sore throat programmes to national guidelines for the management of GAS pharyngitis in Northland.Laboratory and pharmaceutical data were obtained for children and young people aged 3-20 years who had GAS positive throat swabs in Northland laboratory services between 1 April and 31 July 2012. Data were analysed separately for general practice and the school programmes for rheumatic fever prevention.One in five of those children presenting to general practice with a positive throat swab and complete prescription data did not receive treatment according to national guidelines, while appropriate treatment was offered to more than 98% of children accessing school-based programmes. A significant proportion of those seen in general practice received antibiotics not recommended by guidelines, an inadequate length of treatment or no prescription. There were no significant differences in the management of Maori and non-Maori children.There is room for improvement in general practice management of GAS pharyngitis in Northland. School-based management of sore throat provides high-quality management for children at high risk of rheumatic fever.

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