Immunisation’s importance underscored – at 15th Vaccination Week in Americas

GINA, GUYANA, Tuesday, April 25, 2017

The importance of vaccination, one of the most significant and necessary aspects for humans to live a healthy life was emphasised by Minister in the Ministry of Public Health, Dr. Karen Cummings.

In an address at Nieuw Nickerie- District Nickerie, Suriname, at a joint opening ceremony of the 15th Vaccination Week in the Americas, the Minister noted that the simultaneous launch demonstrated the nature of good neighbourliness between the two countries. The event was held under the theme “GetVax to celebrate a healthy tomorrow”.

“The relevancy and veracity of this theme cannot be overstated… it is considered by many leading minds that vaccination is one of the greatest achievements in modern civilisation,” Minister Cummings added.

The Minister said that though the importance of immunisation is least likely to be shared amongst peers, she hopes that parents will ensure that their children are vaccinated since there are no other preventative measures available.

“Immunisation remains the single most important way that parents can protect from serious diseases, as a consequence the decision by parents to immunise their child or children is an extremely critical one,” Minister Cummings noted.

Students from the Brickdam Secondary School holding the 15th Vaccination Week in the Americas poster

Meanwhile, over 30 persons including students from the Brickdam Secondary School, Lodge High School, and East Ruimveldt Secondary School among others, and nurses observed the 15th Vaccination Week in the Americas with a walk around Georgetown, today.

In an interview with the Government Information Agency (GINA), Deputy Chief Nursing Officer Linda Johnson expressed her gratitude towards those who observed the walk especially the students. Johnson explained that the walk will help to sensitise persons to get vaccinated.

Vaccination Week was initially proposed in 2002, following a measles outbreak in Venezuela and Colombia. It is an annual public health campaign by the member states of the Pan American Health Organisation/World Health Organisation (PAHO/WHO) that is celebrated between April 22-29.

Deputy Chief Nursing Officer, Linda Johnson

Last year, During the National 2017 budget presentation, Former Minister of Public Health Dr. George Norton highlighted that Guyana has successfully eliminated measles and was in the process of eliminating wild polio virus two. The Former Public Health Minister explained that the Expanded Programme on Immunisation and Nutrition (EPI) maintained 90 percent vaccination coverage for all antigens.

By: Neola Damon