ST JOHN’S, Antigua – The Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO) has applauded local health care providers for the significant gains made in the country’s vaccination programme.
Public health administrators through the work of community health centres were able to ensure that 95 per cent of the children under one year in Antigua & Barbuda were fully vaccinated, which led to the elimination of measles, mumps and rubella.
Edward Emanuel, Antigua & Barbuda’s programme specialist to PAHO attributed this achievement to the commitment of the government and community health nurses.
“Such achievement needs to be sustained and consequently the public health nursing staff should not be complacent but rather strive to ensure that every child born in Antigua & Barbuda receives the full complement of vaccines,” he said.
Emanuel was speaking yesterday at the opening of the 10th anniversary of Vaccination Week in Americas at the Browne’s Avenue Health Centre.
The PAHO rep has also assured the Ministry of Health that the organisation would continue to play an integral role in the country’s immunisation programme.
“I want to assure the Ministry of Health that PAHO is committed to providing technical co-operation support to Antigua & Barbuda to maintaining its high level of immunisation coverage and in general to improving and strengthening the health services and enhancing the quality of life,” Emanuel said.
Vaccination Week in the Americas, this year running from April 21 to 28, is an initiative of the countries of the region that seeks to revitalise political commitment of vaccination and promote and maintain a culture of prevention.
The event aims to create a greater awareness of the National Immunisation Programme and to educate the public regarding the importance of immunisation.
Superintendent of Public Nurses and Manager of the Expanded Programme on Immunisation (EPI) Coralita Joseph, who gave a comprehensive review of the week of activities, said immunisation is a valuable tool for protecting health and enhancing economic stability and saving lives.
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