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Hepatitis B vaccine introduction : lessons learned in advocacy, communication, and training

WITTLETT, Scott
January 2001

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Hepatitis B is especially dangerous for infants, since they may carry the infection for the rest of their lives without knowing it. Chronic carriers can infect others and are at risk of serious liver disease in later life. However, the hepatitis B vaccine, if provided, helps protect infants against these problems. The vaccine's introduction to developing countries only began in the late 1980s, but many countries still cannot afford to administer the vaccine to all children. This paper summarises the lessons learned about effective advocacy with decision makers, communication with parents and caretakers, and training health staff regarding hepatitis B, gained from over ten years of experience introducing hepatitis B vaccine worldwide. It also includes the WHO 'aide-memoire' on hepatitis B

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