The Use of Effective Communication to Raise Awareness About Measles and Educating Young Mothers on the Importance of Vaccinating

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The aim of this report is to give recommendation on how the Public Health Team (PHT) can assist on raising awareness about measles and educating young mothers on the importance of vaccinating young children and what could be the implication of not vaccinating your child early. This report will outline the problem of not having effective communication, barriers doctors nurses and health practitioners face communicating with the community.

Summary of the case study

In a small town of Townsend in England an outbreak of measles diseases has been reported by several health care professionals, including General Practitioners, Health visitors and school nurses have reported suspected cases of measles. Assistance of PHT has been requested to ensure the disease is contained and reduce the risk of epidemic. Healthcare professionals have asked for assistance from PHT on how awareness can be raised, educate on the importance of the Measles Mumps and Rubella (MMR) vaccinations and its importance.

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What is measles?

Measles is highly infectious viral diseases that can affect children and adults but is mainly common know to affect children under the age of 5 years old. Measles can spread very rapidly and can lead to serious complications such as pneumonia and inflammation of the brain. Measles is spread through coughing and sneezing, also through personal contact with the person that has been infected with the measles virus.

Sign and symptoms

Measles can take up to 10-14days after exposure for a person to develop measles infection. Early signs and symptoms of measles includes pyrexia (high fever), flu like symptoms, runny nose, red and watery eyes (conjunctivitis), and red sports with white centre in the mouth.

What is communication?

Communication is conveying of information from one person to another in a form of verbal, nonverbal or written communication. Verbal communication is the use of words in speech to convey a message. One person speaks and the other listens and understands the meaning of the spoken words. Verbal communication is also called oral communication. Nonverbal communication involves studying and observing a person and inferring a meaning from the observations. Facial expressions, body language and tone of voice are all examples of nonverbal communication.

Communication is an exchange process and in a health environment it is an important role for health promotion. According to Suresh (2011). Communication is understood as an enabler of individual and social levels change to achieve established development goals including health. General practitioners, school nurses and health visitors can work together with the Public Health Team (PHT) to assist and educate the community regarding measles and the effects of measles. Information on prevention, vaccination also needs to be given to the community. Questions needs to be answers as some of the community members have concerns regarding the Measles, mumps and rubella vaccine. Effective communication is a key interpersonal skill and learning on how to improve our communication. Professional in the community need to improve their communication skills, with the community to ensure that accurate information is passed on to the public.

The use of multimedia communication is one of the methods used in ensuring that communication with the community is effective and that all required information needed has reached. A use of social media, radio and internet was used to raise awareness of measles and current outbreak. Information also needs to be passed on to family, members that don’t have access to social media, internet or television. According to Peterson et al, 2005; Wakefield et al, 2010 suggest that research shows using the platform of mass media channels will help improve the good results needed to achieve effective campaign awareness within the community. It is important the healthcare professional have a good record keeping ensuring that all suspected cases or diagnosed cases of measles are recorded accurately and reported. School Nurses and Health visitors must ensure that all children have up to date immunization and it is accurately recorded. According to the Nursing and midwifery council code of conduct 2018 all healthcare professionals should ensure that they keep an accurate record keeping ensuring that it is near to the time of the event. Professional must ensure in line with the record keeping, privacy and confidentiality is maintained. Information is secured and kept safe and identity of individual is maintained.

Barriers to communication

According European centre for disease control 2010 studies has shown a full balance of information is needed to help eliminate the barriers of uninformed perceptions. Communication helps establish trusting relationships, between health care providers and the community. Making sure that information passed on is understood and enriches people’s lives. But all too often good communication is loaded by barriers, which can lead to misunderstandings, resentments, frustrations and demoralisation not only for patients/clients, but also for healthcare staff.

Professionals can use simpler wording, short sentences highlighted headers on the important information provided. Information could be provided to the community in a leaflet form by including images and bullet points, ensuring not overpowering readers with too much information. However, due to differences cultural background and language differences it becomes difficult to communicating with the community, regarding measles and barriers to communication. Professional need to maintain good listening skills, ensuring that they listen to the concerns that the community have regarding MMR vaccine. To overcome barriers to communication professionals, need to be good listen to the community.

PHT and other multidisciplinary teams working with the community, should ensure individual do not feel excluded and discriminated on decision making of how to help with the prevention and containing of the measles outbreak. They should be treated the fairy and equally. In an outbreak of measles individuals can be discriminate by their age gender, professional need to treat everybody the same because the equality act 2005 is a piece of legislation that treat everyone equally. Making sure the community receives the right treatment even with the barriers that they might face.


Measles can be prevented by having children from the age of 9-15month vaccinated with the MMR vaccine which consist of single shot 2 dosages. The next dosage will be given when children start school. According to World Health Organisation (2017) to obtain herd immunity they recommend 95% of the eligible population should be vaccinated.

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