The module of interpersonal communication on immunization will be included as a subject of study in the curricula of Medical Colleges

17 January 2024
image
UNICEF/Moldova/2023

Chișinău, 12 January 2023: The module of interpersonal communication on immunization will be included as a subject of study in the curricula of Medical Colleges nationwide, as part of both pre- and in-service training programs. In this regard, the Center of Excellence in Medicine and Pharmacy ‘Raisa Pacalo’, Ministry of Health and UNICEF conducted a training for trainers in interpersonal communication on immunization from 10 to 12 January of the current year.Twenty-four professors from the Center of Excellence in Medicine and Pharmacy ‘Raisa Pacalo’ and the Medical Colleges in Orhei, Ungheni, Bălți and Cahul participated in the training.

The module of interpersonal communication on immunization aims to strengthen the communication and personal counselling skills of healthcare professionals so that they can interact with parents/caregivers and vaccine recipients and are able to identify, understand, and address concerns, fears, questions, misinformation and hesitations related to vaccination.

image
UNICEF/Moldova/2023

The module was developed by UNICEF and Drexel University from USA and was adapted to the national context by professionals from the ‘Nicolae Testemițanu’ State University of Medicine and Pharmacy and the National Public Health Agency. It is now successfully integrated into the in-service medical education program of the ‘Nicolae Testemițeanu’ State University of Medicine and Pharmacy. At the same time, over 270 family doctors from Bălți were trained in 2023. 

“All studies have proved that healthcare workers are a credible source of information for parents and the general population.  The way they interact and communicate with parents can have a positive or negative impact on parents' decisions to vaccinate their children. Open, unbiased, and encouraging communication from healthcare professionals can help build mutual trust and confidence in vaccines, vaccination services, and the healthcare system as a whole” Said Angela Paraschiv, State Secretary of the Ministry of Health, during the training sessions.

image
UNICEF/Moldova/2023

The need to integrate the module of interpersonal communication on immunization was also confirmed by the results of focus group discussions conducted by UNICEF, involving family doctors and healthcare assistants. They expressed their interest in enhancing their knowledge regarding handling people's vaccine hesitancy, including parents' decisions about immunising their children.

“According to the National Public Health Agency, vaccination coverage for children in Moldova has decreased by 5-10% for almost all antigens, primarily due to COVID-19 restrictions. Therefore, we need to redouble our efforts to boost immunization and equip frontline healthcare workers with the needed skills and capacities to correct misinformation and debunk myths, ensuring effective communication with parents. Immunization is a priority for UNICEF, and I assure you of our ongoing support for the immunization program to make sure that every child in Moldova is protected against vaccine-preventable diseases," stated UNICEF Country Representative in the Republic of Moldova, Maha Damaj.

image
UNICEF/Moldova/2023

Each year, over 950 students graduate from medical colleges in the Republic of Moldova, specializing in fields such as nursing, laboratory assistance, pharmacy assistance, epidemiological hygiene assistance, midwifery, etc. Additionally, more than 3,800 healthcare assistants attend in-service medical training courses as part of their continuous professional development.

"By integrating this course as a subject of study, we ensure that healthcare assistants are prepared and have the necessary skills and knowledge for interpersonal communication with patients when they are employed. Effective communication is equivalent to patients’ trust in health services and the healthcare system," emphasized Mariana Negrean, the director of the Center of Excellence in Medicine and Pharmacy ‘Raisa Pacalo’.

The Government has approved the National Immunization Program for 2023-2027, which aims at ensuring universal protection of the population against vaccine-preventable infectious diseases by increasing the national immunization coverage to 95%. The implementation of the National Immunisation Program prevents at least 350 deaths and 42,000 cases of diseases every year in the Republic of Moldova.

This activity is carried out as part of “Preparation and Implementation of the COVID-19 Vaccine in the Republic of Moldova” Project with the support of USAID Moldova.
image
UNICEF/Moldova/2023
image
UNICEF/Moldova/2023
image
UNICEF/Moldova/2023
image
UNICEF/Moldova/2023

Media contacts

Valeria Dumitriu
Communication Officer
UNICEF Moldova
Tel: +373 68878436

About UNICEF

UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.

For more information about UNICEF and its work for children, visit www.unicef.org

Follow UNICEF on Twitter and Facebook