Importance of Immunization: Kansas City Public Health Department Assessment – Social&Family Issues Example

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"Importance of Immunization: Kansas City Public Health Department Assessment" is a marvelous example of a paper on social and family issues. Kansas City is the biggest city in Missouri, USA. It is a metropolitan city or community, whose population is over 2 million people. Kansas City is rich in culture or art and is renowned for its upscale shopping, local cuisine, and the fountains of its geographic landscapes (Worley, 2011). 59% of the Kansas City population is composed of whites, 29% African American and 10% Latino or Hispanic. A small population of the city is also composed of Asians and Native Americans (Silvey, 2010).

12% of the Kansas City population is Catholic. 50% of the city’ s residents do not have any religious affiliation (Heft, 2011). Assessment of Community The Public Health Department within Kansas City engages in regular outreach and health education programs on the importance of immunization. This is due to the fact that Kansas City has a low level of awareness of the importance of immunization, especially among minority ethnic groups (City of Kansas, 2014). This demonstrates that there is a need for conducting a scientific inquiry on the level of awareness and educational needs on the importance of immunization among the minority populations within Kansas City. Collection of Direct Data Direct data on the level of awareness and information needs on the importance of immunization was collected using different tools and comprised the primary data for the study.

The collection of primary data was targeted at the African American and Latino populations. Mothers ages 18 to 45 were the target of the study. This is due to the fact that this age bracket is associated with childbearing years.

The role of mothers in the immunization of their children also made them a target population for the study. In the collection of primary or direct data, the mothers who were sampled for the study were engaged in individual and focus group interviews in order to determine their level of awareness of the importance of immunization and their information needs on the immunization of their children. The participatory observation was also used to determine the participation of these mothers in the immunization programs within Kansas City. Reported Data Reported data on the area under investigation was obtained from secondary sources.

This involved the collection of statistical data on the use of immunization services within Kansas City. The statistical data were obtained from public documents within the City of Kansas website, under the health department. Secondary data from research publications on health education within Kansas and awareness of the importance o immunization were also used as sources of reported data. Development of Composite Database A composite database was developed through the integration of the new research data from primary sources and the existing secondary data.

In developing the composite database, the data were categorized in line with the information needs of the minority populations in Kansas on the importance of immunization and the level at which immunization services and programs were utilized by the target study population, as the main themes of the study. Through a comparative analysis of the utilization of immunization services by various ethnic groups in the city, the differences in achieving health education goals were determined. Data Interpretation Primary and secondary data reveal that the minority populations within Kansas City have less than 50% awareness of the services offered by the Kansas City Department of Health and Environment, under the Vaccines for Children (VFC) Program.

Problems in awareness included lack of adequate information on the access and utilization of the health education and immunization services that were offered by the VFC Program. The findings of the study reveal that there are challenges or problems in implementing education programs on immunizations within Kansas City. The findings also reveal that the health education programs within the city had not met their goals in an effective manner.

The strengths of health education programs, such as state funding and availability of competent practitioners and health educators, should be used to overcome the problems that the identified problems. Analysis of the Problem The low awareness and unfulfilled information needs on the importance of immunization among minority communities in Kansas City is a public health problem. The problem originates from the poor design of health education and immunization problems within Kansas City. Lack of adequate collaboration among stakeholders within the health sector is also one of the main causes of the identified problem (City of Kansas, 2014).

As a result of these problems, access to immunization services among minority groups is limited. This has in return predisposed the community to preventable diseases or illnesses. The interventions for the problem should be implemented within the level of primary care. This involves health education on the importance of immunization and promoting access to immunization programs and services to mothers and their children. The parties that comprise the stakeholders of this problem include the state of Missouri, Kansas City Department of Health, nurses, primary care providers, physicians, educators, and volunteers.

The participation of these stakeholders in solving the problem will determine the effectiveness through which a solution would be reached. The problem matrix includes factors such as financing health education, social-economic state of the target population, level of education, the participation of health practitioners in the health education programs, and the design of the goals and objectives of such programs. The interplay of these factors is attributed to the existence of the problem. Positive outcomes would be realized if there is increased funding for health education programs, more participation in primary care programs, improved social-economic, and education state of the community, and improved access to immunization services or programs. Review of Literature Health education programs play an important role in promoting the awareness of the community on various health issues, programs, and access to health services (Witmer, Seifer & O'Neil, 2010).

However, the effectiveness of health education programs is determined by the design of implementation strategies, allocation of funds, the level of participation of stakeholders, and the effectiveness in managing program activities (Baisch, 2010).

The low level of awareness of access to health care services and programs is attributed to the social-economic state of the community and the level of education among community members. State institutions, health programs, and practitioners from both the private and public health care settings are mandated to play an active role in providing adequate information to the public on health care programs during primary care processes (Witmer, Seifer & O'Neil, 2010). Current and past research on health education among minority communities employs both statistical and qualitative designs to determine the level at which health program services are utilized (Luman, Barker, McCauley & Drews-Botsch, 2011).

Comparative analysis of literature on the utilization of health care services, such as immunization programs, is directly proportional to the prevalence of preventable diseases within the society (Glennerster & Lieberman, 2011). Research literature indicates that various states and communities demonstrate diverse levels of awareness and access to health services and education programs (Witmer, Seifer & O'Neil, 2010). The participation of private and public health care organizations in primary care and health education within the community is reported to have increased in the past decade (Luman, Barker, McCauley & Drews-Botsch, 2011).

It is as a result of this that the outcomes of primary care services, such as immunizations are likely to be met more effectively in the near future (Baisch, 2010). Nursing Diagnosis of the Problem From the nursing point of view, top priority should be directed at the reduction of the prevalence of preventable diseases within the minority populations in Kansas City through immunization activities and health education. The manifestation of the current problem is characterized by a below standard level of access and awareness of the importance of immunization among the minority population of the target community.

Barriers to positive change, such as financial challenges, educational limitations in the community, and access to immunization services can be overcome through effective design and implementation of primary care services and programs. Conclusion The level of awareness and access to immunization programs among the minority populations within Kansas City is revealed by primary and secondary data to be below average. A matrix of several factors, such as the social-economic and educational level of the target community, financial and program design constraints have been linked to the problem.

A proper design, development, and implementation of health education and immunization programs are recommended as the most suitable and appropriate remedy for the problem.


Baisch, M. (2010). Community health: an evolutionary concept analysis. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 65(11), 2464-2476

City of Kansas. (2014). Departments. Retrieved From Http://Kcmo.Gov/Departments/

Glennerster, H., & Lieberman, R. C. (2011). HIdden Convergence: Toward a Historical Comparison of U.S. and U.K. Health Policy. Journal of Health Politics, Policy & Law, 36(1), 5-31.

Heft, G. (2011). Focus Kansas City. Planning, 65(4), 6

Luman, E. T., Barker, L. E., McCauley, M., & Drews-Botsch, C. (2011). Timeliness of Childhood Immunizations: A State-Specific Analysis. American Journal of Public Health, 95(8), 1367-1374.

Silvey, L. (2010). Kansas City Is Ablaze With Opportunity. Aftermarket Business, 105(11), 19

Witmer, A., Seifer, S. D. & O'Neil, E. H. (2010). Community Health Workers: Integral Members of the Health Care Work Force. American Journal of Public Health, 85(8), 1055-1058.

Worley, W. S. (2011). Urban History of Kansas. Kansas History, 28(4), 274-289.

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