After completing nursing and midwifery degrees at Griffith University, Gillian Hermosilla-Silva followed her passion for women and children’s health.
As Immunisation Co-ordinator for Logan and Redland Council, Gillian is the driving force behind a highly successful community outreach service.
Under Gillian’s leadership, the Council provides an at-home vaccination service for children who are missing or overdue for the vaccines that offer protection from serious childhood illnesses.
“From January to September 2016, we vaccinated more than 700 children at their own homes,” she says.
When communities report low immunisation rates, it’s often attributed to conscientious objection to vaccines.
“But research in 2012 suggested that low vaccine rates were not about parents taking a stand against vaccination,” says Gillian.
“I can only remember one or two parents who were actual conscientious objectors; the real reason was more to do with difficulties accessing vaccination services.”
“In many cases it came down to transportation issues— some families have no car or multiple children, so getting to their local GP is problematic.”
The success of the National Immunisation Program saw a dramatic decline in prevalence for vaccine-preventable childhood diseases, so Gillian’s team also offers educational resources for parents who may not fear these illnesses or even know what they look like.