Wednesday’s in the Janiuay RHU is immunization day. Clients come from all the different barangy’s in Janiuay with their children to get immunized. The clinic is very hectic, always abuzz with laughter, crying and fast talking Filipino’s. The immunziations given at the clinic include Bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG) given for TB, Diptheria Petussis Tetanus (DPT), oral polio vaccine (OPV), Hepatitis B, measles, mumps and rubella (MMR). Depending on the age of the child they are given the appropriate vaccine. The nurses and midwives are the main giver of immunizations. Sharaya and Leah were thrown into the immunization process. After a few observations, off they went. The first few were different as in Canada we are not able to immunize children. On our initial assessment, we had some difficulty as we believe either the needles are duller or the skin of our clients is more tan thus making it thicker and tougher to inject the needle. After a couple of needles and drops we felt quite comfortable and proved to be a distraction technique for the children as our skin is much lighter. The system of needles disposers is much different here, they do not have auto capping mechanisms that ensure safety as wells sharps containers; here they utilize cardboard boxes.

We noticed a few differences in the relationship between the administration of the vaccines between Canada and the Philippines.  In Canada, the family makes an appointment to meet with the public health nurse in order to receive their vaccine. At this time, healthy growth and development, appropriate feeding, and other concerns are discussed.  Once the needs have been met by both client and nurse, the vaccines are administered.  This enables the nurse to form a relationship with the family that can be continued throughout the course of the child’s vaccination schedule. In contrast, we found the clinic to be rushed as mother entered with their children, received the vaccine and left the clinic. The nurse simply administered the vaccine and did not give an opportunity for assessment or expression of concern. It was also hard to document as there was a language barrier and the nurse wanted to get as many patients through as possible.  We tried to interact with the clients, but with the language barrier it was hard.  While administering the vaccines we experienced a shortage and had to turn away patients.  In Canada we would simply return to the fridge and get more.  However, the clinic here does not  have an unending supply.  It was hard having to turn clients away who needed the vaccine especially when some of them had travelled so far to receive them.

Leah giving an injection with guidance from the midwife

Sharaya giving an injection

(Photos taken with permission from the mothers)