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Learning from practice:  Equity in influenza Prevention in Saskatoon

This is the story of Saskatoon Health Region’s (SHR) work to improve immunization rates and reduce the spread of influenza in the city’s six core neighbourhoods.  It is a continuation of our 2012 case study  about Saskatoon’s broad health equity work.  This story focuses on the region’s equity work related to influenza prevention through to 2014.

The story is framed using the four roles framework for action to reduce health inequities.

Role #1  Assess and report on health inequities and effective strategies.  As a result of their thorough prior research and “on-the-ground” experience, SHR set the goal of raising influenza vaccination rates in the six core neighbourhoods to a level comparable to other areas of the city.

Role #2   Modify and orient interventions.  In order to remove barriers and make services more accessible, immunization clinics were held in elementary schools, social housing, the food bank and the Sexual Health Clinic. Vaccination clinic times were set to accommodate clients’ work shifts and childcare responsibilities.

Role #3  Partner with other sectors.  Each member of the Building Health Equity (BHE) team was assigned to a school in order to form direct relationships with staff, students and parents. Partnerships were formed with the Saskatoon Tribal Council and the Central Urban Métis Federation.

Role #4    Participate in policy development.  The BHE team has achieved policy changes such as 2)  bus tickets for clients to get to public health programs and services; 2) immunization for newcomers who are awaiting a provincial health card; and 3) integrated influenza immunization and childhood vaccination clinics.

Use this resource to

  • Develop an equity-focused influenza prevention strategy
  • Use data to argue for an equity-focused influenza prevention strategy
  • Blend equity considerations into all immunization programs.

National Collaborating Centre for Determinants of Health. (2015). Learning from Practice: Using data and building relationships in the Saskatoon Health Region. Antigonish, NS: National Collaborating Centre for Determinants of Health, St. Francis Xavier University.


Tags: Aboriginal health , Access to health services, Assess and report, Community engagement, Competencies & organizational standards , Infectious disease, Intersectoral action, Leadership & capacity building, Methods & tools, Modify & orient, Policy analysis, Public health unit / health authority, Racism/racialization

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