European immunization week as an opportunity for raising awareness on prevention function of the primary health care services in rural settings: 2022 shamakhi-azerbaijan case
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WHO Dr. "WHO Country Office 62 Uzeyir Hajibeyov str. Marine Plaza, 5th floor Baku AZ-100 Azerbaijan" Azerbaijan
WHO dr. WHO CO Azerbaijan. Uzeyir Hacibeyov Baku Azerbaijan
TABIB dr. Shamakhi Region Central Hospital. Shamakhi Azerbaijan
The Administration of the Regional Medical Divisions (TABIB) Azerbaijan
WHO Azerbaijan Country Office Azerbaijan
Publication date: 2023-04-26
Popul. Med. 2023;5(Supplement):A2043
Background and objective:
Azerbaijan WHO country office used 2022 European Immunization Week (EIW) for raising awareness on preventive functions of primary health care (PHC) among stakeholders, healthcare workers (HCW), medical and nursing students, and the community. EIW 2022 activity in six villages of Shamakhi aimed to resume COVID-19 vaccination in adults and immunization courses of 0-15 ages children, besides screening.

Multifaceted and ten-day-long EIW 2022 activity was realized in Shamakhi, a mountainous region of Azerbaijan with 107.800 population, where the WHO country office has implemented PHC demonstration project. First-approach was home visits by students and community leaders for applying the second approach of raising awareness. The third was screening and vaccination of children and adults. Rewarding of vaccinated was used as the fourth approach and incentives were provided to HCWs as an example of P4P approach. Total 80 HCWs (17 medical students, 17 nursing students, and 12 community leaders) participated.

Active engagement of community leaders improved acceptability. Total 387 children and 78 adults with incomplete immunization schedule were vaccinated. Administration of next doses were followed up and 101 children were administered booster or primary doses, until September 2022. 1091 adults and 473 children of 0-18 ages were screened using WHO cardiovascular risk charts, FINDRISK scale, and WHO percentile charts. 580 (53.2%) adults had a risk of fatal cardiovascular disease >5% , and 693 (63.5%) had diabetes risk score >7. Among 0-5 ages children, 46(20.6%) were stunted and 23(10.3%) were underweight. Among 5-18 ages, 38(15.0%) were overweight or obese and 32(13.4%) were wasted.

EIW helped to expand PHC horizons in Shamakhi and meet all stakeholders on common grounds, and served as an interprofessional education program. With a thorough organization, home visiting is shown to be a good tool for primary prevention without waiting for peoples demand for healthcare.

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