Birth dose index

Perinatal Hepatitis B Prevention Program in Hillsborough County, Florida

Overview: The State of Florida Communicable Disease Frequency Reports indicate that since 1999, there have been 250 pregnant women who have tested positive for hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) in Hillsborough County, Florida. The Hillsborough County Health Department (HCHD) Perinatal Hepatitis B Prevention Program (PHBPP) was established in 2001. We received funding for a dedicated full-time position to follow up on babies born to HBsAg-positive women, to ensure that the prophylaxis is given to prevent transmission to the newborn infant. In 2004, personnel began to develop and promote the program and its benefits through increased education and outreach services. These services included the establishment of a hepatitis B information phone line, the development of informational posters for HCHD and School Health clinic sites, and an increase in community education programs for both the general public and the professional community. The HCHD PHBPP also designed and placed informational ads in the interior of public buses and on bus stop benches.

Objectives: The main objectives of the PHBPP are as follows:

  • Identify strategies to reduce the morbidity and mortality of hepatitis B in the community
  • Increase public awareness of the importance of hepatitis B immunization through training and education
  • Act as a local resource for hepatitis B immunization questions from the general public
  • Develop and provide training on hepatitis B immunization to local health care providers, public health workers, and professional and volunteer groups
  • Promote the program and its benefits through newsletters, information packets, and TV and radio commercials

Methodology: The Hillsborough County PHBPP has applied the concept of social marketing (the use of traditional marketing strategies to "sell" the promotion of healthy behaviors) to improve the quality and outcome of perinatal hepatitis B prevention efforts within its community. This social marketing strategy includes the development of a market plan, the construction of a well-defined message, and the employment of mass media to deliver the message.

Results: The implementation of the Hillsborough County PHBPP has already begun to yield results. Since implementing an information phone line approximately 40 to 70 calls per month seeking additional information have been received.

Training sessions for public and private healthcare providers and community organizations have been ongoing. These include sessions at substance abuse treatment centers, hospitals, clinics, and facilities serving homeless persons, pregnant women, and runaway teens. In the first quarter of 2005, 16 sites were visited, reaching nearly 200 members of the professional and general community. Two television ads were produced with News Channel 8, and Tampa Bay News Channel 10 with messages to increase awareness of hepatitis. These commercials ran in the month of May.

Conclusion: The development of community projects by the Hillsborough County PHBPP is an effective means to improve the health outcomes of the citizens served by the HCHD. The HCHD PHBPP is evaluating the effectiveness of this project through client surveys and evaluations, as well as monitoring the use of the information phone line and requests for community training and education.

Interested in viewing Hillsborough County's bus, bench, and TV ads?

Bus stop bench ad
Bus ad
Hepatitis B flyer #1
Hepatitis B flyer #2
Hepatitis B poster for clinic
TV PSA (many languages) Play now - download for later play
TV PSA (Vietnamese with English subtitles) Play now - download for later play
TV PSA (English with Spanish subtitles) Play now - download for later play
Conference poster presentation

For more information, contact:

Health Services Representative
Hillsborough County Health Department
1105 E. Kennedy Blvd.
Tampa, FL 33675
Phone: (813) 307-8010
Fax: (813) 276-2981

Birth dose index

Immunization Action Coalition1573 Selby AvenueSt. Paul MN 55104
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Tel: (651) 647-9009Fax: (651) 647-9131