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Celebrate May Day

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Abstract

There's a lot to discover about this pagan festival. Invite children to explore and participate in its rich traditions, comparing it with their own experiences of parties, weddings and religious festivals.

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In Finland all children are entitled to regular health check-up visits at child health clinics (CHC). During the visits public health nurses and physicians follow-up the growth and development of the child, evaluate the welfare of the family, give health counselling and vaccinate the children. The aim of this study was to measure the time used by the nurses and physicians for different tasks during the visits and evaluate the costs of preventive health care procedures. Special emphasis was on time and costs used for administering vaccinations. The study was conducted in four CHCs. Trained observers measured the time used for predefined tasks with a stopwatch application operating on a tablet computer. Labour costs of visits and vaccinations were evaluated by using the gross average salary costs of health care personnel. Time used for vaccine logistics and other administrative tasks was obtained by interviewing the nurses in charge of the vaccine logistics at each CHC. Altogether 325 CHC visits of children <13 months were followed. Public health nurse used for a visit in average 49 (range 12–101) minutes, and the corresponding labour costs were 17 (4–35) Euros. Vaccines were administered at 183 visits. Children got on average 2.4 (1–4) vaccine doses per visit. The observed time used for vaccinations was 10.2 (1.6–25) minutes and the costs 3.58 (0.57–8.62) Euros per visit. The observed time included guidance, preparation, administration, and documentation of vaccinations. Adding one dose into a visit increased the time spent on vaccination on average 2.8 minutes (0.99 Euros). The mean non-observed time used for vaccine logistics outside the visits was 3.4 minutes and cost 1.19 Euros per dose. Administering of the vaccines of the Finnish vaccination programme is relatively simple and inexpensive because Finnish children have regular scheduled visits to CHCs.
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