Hepatitis B

According to the WHO reports, the prevalence rate of Hepatitis B is 2.5% of the population. But the timely vaccine can prevent you from the Hepatitis B virus. The vaccine was introduced in Pakistan Government’s EPI program in 2009. It has replaced the previous DPT and Hepatitis B vaccine. Three doses of this vaccine are given to children in Pakistan in the first year for free, at 6 weeks, 10 weeks and 14 weeks of age.

Effective awareness strategy was required for HepB prevention and control. Information related to knowledge and awareness of community members is crucial to design prevention programs in the community. For this, purpose in coordination with the Government we conceptualized and produced documentaries for creating awareness about the significance of immunization schedule.

Our target audience consisted of two segments, the rural and urban population. For reaching out to the people in urban areas, we used brochures, streamers and conducted workshops in different community centres. However, it was comparatively difficult to reach out to the people in rural areas as these people especially those with low socioeconomic status and illiterate background have superstitious beliefs about diseases. Their orthodox behaviour, lack of education, and fear of manipulation contribute to the increased rigidity against vaccination courses. Therefore, we approached Panchayat leaders, activists, community motivators and teachers to effectively disseminate the message.

The training of health workers and vaccinators was also a major approach as effective communication can induce behaviour change. They were trained to educate and guide mothers against the preventive measures and control of disease through a door to door campaign.

The campaign successfully disseminated the immunization message and raised awareness about the effectiveness of these vaccines to protect children against deadly hepatitis.