Cannons Creek mother-of-four Elena Isaako is proud her children are among hundreds of local Maori and Pacific youngsters who are fully immunised for their age.
Porirua Union and Community Health (PUCH), where the Isaako family is registered, received an award last week for exceeding the national immunisation target for children under two.
‘‘Every time I come to do the kids’ injections the nurse always reminds me when the next one is and encourages me to bring them in. It’s really helpful for the kids and for their safety [from illness],’’ Mrs Isaako said.
‘‘For me, as a mum, I want my kids to be well and to get better quickly. I see stories on the news [about immunisation], it’s a big thing. It’s my responsibility to look after my kids and do the right thing.
‘‘It’s good to encourage other families to do it, especially Pacific families. I don’t want my kids to suffer later on if I’m not doing my job,’’ she said.
Capital & Coast District Health Board immunisation facilitator Helen Hartley said PUCH’s success is down to ‘‘the positive relationships with the community that they serve’’.
‘‘ We’ve not only met the national average, we’ve exceeded it. It’s excellent news for Porirua. It’s very important for this area because we have had a disparity in the past and now we’ve managed to close the gap.
‘‘In real terms, it means fewer admissions into hospital for immunisation preventable diseases.
‘‘ Elena’s family is a great example for others. She’s fully immunised her family and we hope others will continue to do the same,’’ she said.
Happy and healthy: The Isaako family of Cannons Creek, clockwise from top, Dena, mum Elena, Luafulu, Lisi and Esau, have all been immunised at Porirua Union and Community Health and encourage other Pacific families to do the same.