Health department launches Hispanic media campaign on H1N1 flu

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Press release from the Fort Wayne-Allen County Health Department:

Health department launches Hispanic media campaign on H1N1 flu

As part of its comprehensive strategy to educate the community on H1N1 flu, the Fort Wayne-Allen County Department of Health has launched a media campaign aimed at the Hispanic/Latino community.

The campaign uses billboards, public service ads, and other educational materials in Spanish to urge people to get vaccinated and take other simple precautions such as washing their hands, covering their cough and staying home if they are sick. The campaign was created by Ponce Publicidad, a Hispanic advertising, marketing and communications agency based out of Indianapolis.

“We recognize that language and culture can be a significant barrier when it comes to health information and education,” says Dr. Deborah McMahan, Allen County Health Commissioner. “It’s important that all members of our community know how to prevent the spread of the flu.”

“As we head into our traditional flu season, now more than ever people need to get vaccinated and to take the other precautions to prevent the spread of illness. We hope this campaign can help in that effort.”

Reports have also indicated that the H1N1 pandemic may be having more of an impact on Hispanics than other racial groups in the population. In some cities such as Boston and Chicago, blacks and Hispanics were three or four times more likely to be hospitalized from H1N1 flu than whites. While blacks and Hispanics may be no more susceptible to H1N1 than the general population, they suffer disproportionately from asthma, diabetes and other health problems that are complicated by the flu.

Public service ads aimed at prevention have already started running in Spanish-language newspapers and on billboards in targeted neighborhoods, and posters and other educational materials are being disseminated in Hispanic businesses, churches and social centers. Other partners in this effort include the Multicultural Council of Fort Wayne, the Fort Wayne Police Department’s Hispanic Liaison Officer and the City of Fort Wayne’s Hispanic and Immigrant Liaison Office.

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