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Measles Outbreak Control Strategies in Tshwane District: School Health Surveillance System Efficacy in Gauteng Province

This study investigated the knowledge, attitudes and practices of registered professional primary health care nurses and care givers regarding measles vaccination and surveillance among children in the public health care service delivery system, with particular emphasis on assessing the impact of measles outbreak control strategies in the health care facilities located in the Olievenhoutbosch area of the Tshwane Health District.

A predominantly quantitative research design approach was opted for, with significant descriptive and contextual aspects which broadened the researcher’s understanding of measles outbreak control strategies from the perspectives and lived experiences of the study participants themselves. A self-designed structured questionnaire constituted the primary form of data collection, and was administered to a sample of 250 registered professional primary health care nurses randomly selected from 50 clinics; as well as 250 community-based care givers who were also selected according to the stratified random sampling method from the 25 early childhood development centres in the Olievenhoutbosch area of the Tshwane Health District. The choice of the sampling method was largely informed by virtue of the researcher’s professional background and work-related experience. The researcher is also sufficiently conversant with the health care dynamics within the milieu of the Tshwane Health District.

The findings revealed, among others, that the success and efficacy of measles eradication strategies and programmes depended on the skills, perceptions and knowledge level of primary health care providers in respect of vaccination policies. Also, cultural and religious beliefs were found to have some effect on attitudes towards interventions aimed at measles elimination. The study’s recommendations include the strengthening of measles surveillance systems by regular reporting of cases, prompt investigation of outbreaks, and continuous monitoring of measles vaccine coverage in all levels of care.

 

Keywords: measles outbreak control; surveillance system; vaccination; efficacy; measles coverage

Full Name
Dr Mpho Gloria Moshime
Programme