Improving Frontline Worker and Caregiver Skills in Vaccination Pain Management
Caroline Aura from the University of Nairobi in Kenya will teach frontline health workers and caregivers new skills so they can apply simple techniques such as swaddling and rocking to lessen the pain and distress of infants during injections to improve vaccination rates. Vaccination rates are still too low in many low-resource settings, which may be due in part to the discomfort they cause infants. This in turn makes caregivers reluctant to obtain all the recommended vaccinations for their children. Methods exist to reduce the associated pain of injections, but health workers lack the knowledge and skills to implement them. To test their approach, they will recruit vaccinators and community health workers at four rural immunization centers and use seminars and workshops to teach them pain-relieving techniques, including using specific positions and making soothing sounds. They will also develop audio-visual training tools and illustrative guides to help teach the techniques to parents for them to use at home as well. All healthy children under 12 months old visiting the centers for a vaccination will also receive one of the pain relief techniques. They will evaluate the ability of the health workers to manage pain, the level of distress of the infants, and the experience of the caregivers.