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Angra do Heroísmo ,  December 03, 2018

Regional Government launches campaign to disseminate Azores Health Line and raise awareness about influenza vaccination

The Regional Secretary for Health launched in Angra do Heroísmo a campaign to disseminate the Azores Health Line and raise awareness about influenza vaccination.
"This seasonal influenza prevention campaign aims to make patients aware that flu is managed at home and there are several solutions to this," Rui Luís said, pointing out that patients should "follow the advice of their general practitioner, follow the advice of the Azores Health Line and get vaccinated."
Rui Luís highlighted the increase of 110% in calls made to the Azores Health Line between 2017 and 2018.
"The 2018 investment in four more nurses and the introduction of patient follow-up care to verify the evolution of their health has increased the use of this health line more than twofold," stressed the government official.
The Azores Health Line (808 24 60 24) is available 24 hours a day. It provides medical screening and referral, public health assistance and therapeutic advice by health professionals.
On that occasion, the President of the Azores Regional Civil Protection and Fire Service also presented the statistical evolution of the number of calls and the results of a satisfaction survey conducted between July and September among patients who used the Azores Health Line and the Medical Emergency Line.
According to the report on the satisfaction survey conducted among the patients who called both lines, the average rating assigned to the service was "very satisfied."
The survey report shows that 85% of Azoreans followed the instructions provided by the nurse and that 70% of patients did not seek any kind of help or differentiated care after the evaluation carried out by the Medical Emergency Line.
After using the telephone screening and counselling services, 90% of patients would consider calling first the 808 24 60 24 line in a future similar situation instead of going to a Health Unit.
Carlos Neves pointed out that these results "arise from the information and awareness efforts carried out throughout the year, which has made people more confident in the service and, consequently, to use it more frequently."
In order to further promote the use of this service, a dissemination campaign was launched through a TV spot to be aired on RTP/Açores and the distribution of posters at health units, "casas do povo" (community centres) and municipal facilities.
At this presentation, the Regional Director for Health revealed data concerning the vaccination rate during the influenza season.
The Region has 25,500 free vaccines for priority target groups, including elderly people aged 65 and over, chronic patients, citizens institutionalised in nursing homes, mental care institutions or prison establishments, health professionals and firefighters.
Tiago Lopes stated that the vaccination coverage rate has been growing on an annual basis.
By the end of November, 43.8% of the target population had already adhered to the vaccination programme and it is advisable to get the vaccine by the end of December.
"We have a very satisfactory coverage rate so far. This second moment of the campaign will also be important for us to continue working on the path of prevention, which does not invalidate other additional measures," said the Regional Director.
Likewise, the Regional Secretary for Health stated that "all health centres provide open consultations for those who do not have a general practitioner," ensuring that we have the conditions to "reinforce these consultations, if necessary."


Official government press-releases presented in all foreign languages interfaces of the Azorean Government Portal (Portal do Governo dos Açores) are a sub-set of the government's official press-releases daily output and are chosen for translation and publication on the foreign language interfaces based on audience segmentation criteria. The entire collection of the Azorean government press-releases is available in portuguese, here, from the GACS Press Office site.

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