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Bronwyn and Arama Morunga's family is one of several featured in a new series of online immunisation videos produced by Northland DHB working together with the three Auckland based DHBs: Waitemata, Auckland and Counties Manukau.
The videos help support the Better Public Services (BPS) target to increase New Zealand's infant immunisation rate to 95% by promoting immunisation information in a more accessible way.
The Morunga family video highlights the importance the video places on being healthy. They lead a busy lifestyle with four young children in Northland and believe getting their children immunised on time has helped them stay healthy.
'I love taking the boys hunting; it's a good way of being active. If they were sick all the time, that wouldn't be able to happen. Immunisation has helped us to live this lifestyle,' says Arama.
Maternity charge midwife at Auckland DHB, Karen Upton, had raised the idea of a new video resource for women after using other successful videos.
'Like most District Health Boards we've got shelves of written resources promoting health. This initiative was about taking the same immunisation on time message but presenting it in a more user friendly way, to reach and connect with our target audience; pregnant women,' says Northland DHB producer Liz Inch.
A DVD copy of the video is used at antenatal classes. The videos are also posted on Facebook, YouTube and the DHBs' websites.
They feature information from paediatricians, GPs, hospital and community based midwives and a vaccine specialist about the importance of immunising on time to protect mums and babies against preventable diseases. That's coupled with stories from families about immunisation and the experience of dealing with sick children who have developed vaccine preventable diseases, such as rotavirus.
Liz Inch says the videos were shown to consumer groups in the development phase to make sure they would resonate with pregnant women.
'The family aspect of the videos is really important. People like to see families like themselves that they can relate to. Through feedback, that emerged as the key to connecting with the audience.'
Working together, the DHBs were able to expand their resources and networks. Each DHB worked with its local community to find the best people to feature on the web based resource.
It was through this process that Auckland mum Samara Sergeant was found. She features on a DVD about the rotavirus vaccine, added to the childhood immunisation schedule in July 2014. Samara's pre-schooler developed rotavirus and ended up in Waitakere Hospital.
"I'd definitely immunise against it. Kids dehydrate so fast, and if you don't know the symptoms it might be too late.'
The videos went online at the end of April this year to coincide with Immunisation Week 2015.
Since then more than 800 DVD copies have been distributed and the videos have been viewed more than twelve hundred times from the Northland DHB Facebook page since 23 April. The videos are now available online at http://www.northlanddhb.org.nz/Communications/NorthlandDHBVideoResources/Immunisation.aspx
So far feedback has been positive. The DHBs are now looking at adapting the videos for use on mobile phones.
And as for the Northland Morunga as the experience of featuring in the video has had the added bonus of prompting Dad, Arama, to go and get his influenza immunisation.
'Everyone can talk a good game but not everyone can play a good game. I made the conscious, informed decision to get the jab. We have a huge population of have up here and we'd like to make a difference.