Immunization is most successful, effective intervention – Health Minister
April 23, 2013

Immunization is most successful, effective intervention – Health Minister

Under the slogan “Vaccination: a Shared Responsibility”, St Vincent and the Grenadines is commemorating the 11th annual Vaccination Week with a week of events.{{more}}

Minister of Health, Wellness and the Environment, Clayton Burgin said in an address yesterday, that immunization is the most successful and cost effective of interventions.

He said that as a result of immunization, two to three million deaths are prevented every year from diseases like diphtheria, measles, mumps, tetanus, rubella and whooping cough.

“Vaccinations are considered one of public health’s ‘best buys’,”Burgin explained. “St Vincent and the Grenadines, through high levels of immunization, has achieved the eradication of vaccine preventable diseases such as polio, measles, rubella and congenital rubella syndromes”.

Additionally, in an effort to reduce the life threatening cancer of the cervix in the female population, the minister announced that a Human Papilloma Virus Vaccine will be introduced in the near future.

He commended parents and guardians for their commitment to having their children vaccinated. Burgin also commended the staff of Community Health Service for their dedication to duty, as it relates to promotion, coverage and outreach within their health districts.

“I, therefore, urge persons travelling to hold preliminary dialogue with the relevant staff in the Ministry and to get vaccinated prior to travelling in order to allow sufficient time to elapse for the vaccine to take effect,” Burgin stressed. “Let us not become complacent. Let us strive to keep our vaccination coverage high, as a reduction in our coverage can put everyone at risk for disease outbreaks”.

The week of activities began on Sunday with church services. The Health Word programme will feature vaccinations this week and Monday to Friday are considered open days at health centres.

A workshop will take place today for preschool teachers in the Kingstown District while Health Microscope will take place tomorrow.

On Thursday, an immunization presentation will be aired on television by the Agency for PubIic Information (API), while a newspaper article and an outreach programme outside the Kingstown fish and vegetable markets, will take place on Friday.

The week’s activities will conclude with a church service on Saturday, April 27.