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Good parent-paediatrician communication - a key to success

© UNICEF BiH / Almir Panjeta / 2011
A mother and her child from Foca participate in the round-table meeting.

FOCA, Bosnia and Herzegovina, 31 May 2011 - A series of roundtables supported by UNICEF is being held in the cities of BiH. Before Foca, round tables on immunisation, with parents and doctors were held in Doboj, Zvornik, Bijeljina, Banja Luka, Istočno Sarajevo, and Trebinje, Kiseljak, Sarajevo and Tuzla will follow.

“My girl has been regularly vaccinated, the paediatrician advised me about everything and I never thought of not vaccinating my child. When I learned about the unfortunate event in Doboj, I did fear, but only until the paediatrician explained everything to us”, said Verica Cosovic, from Foca, who came with a 14-month old daughter Kristina.

“I am glad to see parents have come and I am glad to see a little baby who I hope has received all vaccines. We have come here to hear what you parents think and to be at your disposal should you have any questions or concerns”, said Mitar Tešanović, Chief  Epidemiologist from the Republika Srpska, at the beginning of the roundtable.

Parents said that they had full confidence in their paediatrician Radmila Kapetanov, and that the turnout might be low because she was always available and they get from her any information they want, so there was no pressing need for extra information.

“When the immunisation was temporary suspended following the events in Lukavac and Doboj, the only question I was getting from parents was when would we continue so that they could have their children vaccinated”, said Radmila Kapetanov.

Mother Ana Paprica recounted how her younger son was supposed to be vaccinated exactly at the time when the temporary suspension occurred.

© UNICEF BiH / Almir Panjeta / 2011
Immunisation round-table meeting in Foca, BiH.

“Honestly, I was afraid and worried after all the news I heard, but I asked the paediatrician and I was told I would get all the information. It is understandable that parents were afraid, but through the conversation with the paediatrician and all information we received, we have overcome the fear. “, said Ana Paprica.

Speaking about vaccination side effects, mother Biljana Topalović said that her younger child in addition to higher body temperature once also had allergic reaction.

“The occurrence of fever is the most common reaction which may, but not necessarily, mean that vaccine was “successful”. What is important is that the temperature does not go too high and does not last too long. There might be some swelling, redness, pain or itching at the site of the injection, but these are all reactions associated with vaccine which mean that the body is producing antibodies that will later protection it against a number of diseases“, said dr. Bratić.

It was stressed that the immunisation process can be further improved by improving parents-paediatrician communication, raising awareness about the importance of health protection in early childhood, as well as through professional and competent approach by doctors.

“We have to respect the rules of the profession and give are best at any time. We have to approach all cases equally, examine all aspects and urge parents, through the media, to have confidence in their doctors which, as we heard, is best earned through human approach and high standards of professional conduct“, Dr. Tešanović concluded.



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