Source: The Mercury, Tuesday, 27 June, 1994, p.1


Needle
to make
parents
do the
right
thing

By MARY ROSE

Health Reporter

HANNAH Reason's mum
has done the right thing
say health experts. She
has had her 4 -month-old
daughter immunised.

As a former Health
Department employee,
mother Natalie Reason, of
Bellerive, says she is
"aware of what the best
thing is for the baby".

"I think parents should
be more aware of their
babies' needs, as well as
the community's needs,"
she said.

Mrs Reason and Hannah
were at the launch in
Hobart yesterday of a
statewide campaign to
encourage parents to have
their children immunised.

GP and immunisation
working party chairman
Mike Sladden said parents
needed to be reminded
some children would die of preventable
illnesses without immunisation.

"It's far better to get the immunisa-
tion rather than some of the horrible
diseases we're trying to prevent," he
said.

The theme of the campaign is "Help
them every step of the way-please
immunise".

The television and print campaign
stems from a recommendation in the
Tasmanian Immunisation Strategy,
which has been allocated $180,000 to
improve the state's immunisation
record.

Community and Health Services
Minister Roger Groom said the need
for full immunisation could not be over-
emphasised in the fight to eradicate
preventable diseases such as diphthe-
ria, tetanus, pertussis (whooping
cough), measles, poliomyelitis, mumps,
rubella and haemophilus
influenzae type B (Hib).

"These diseases are still occur-
ring widely because a significant
proportion of children are not
immunised or have not complet-
ed the recommended full course
of immunisation," Mr Groom
said.

In Tasmania, measles has
increased 25-fold from 32 cases
in 1991 and 1992 to more than
800 cases in 1993. Pertussis has
increased from 29 cases in 1991
and 1992 to a total of 84 cases
for 1993 and 1994.

The recent introduction of Hib
vaccine has reduced the number
of reported Hib cases, which Mr
Groom said was an excellent
example of the benefits of
immunisation.


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