in the fight against Pertussis
by Kateri Spinella, Immuniztion Coordinator
The staff at the Kwethluk Health Clinic has taken a pro-active stand in the fight against pertussis. Each person in the clinic helped to identify all the pregnant women in their community and screen them and their family members to ensure their vaccines that protect against pertussis are up-to-date.
When the Kwethluk health aides learned about the dangers of pertussis, they took it upon themselves to request additional doses of Tdap booster, and to begin making contact with the new mothers and family members who may come into contact with the newborn infants.
Working with doctors in Bethel to ensure the vaccine is administered safely to pregnant women, the clinic staff designates one Health Aide each day to administer vaccines to family members who will spend time around the newborn, this is called “cocooning”.
The entire staff exemplifies YKHC’s Mission: Working Together to Achieve Excellent Health.