More emphasis to be placed on regional vaccination coverage

DPI, GUYANA, Thursday, October 12, 2017

As efforts are ongoing to achieve the National Health Strategy 2013-2020, it was highlighted that the Maternal and Child Health program attained 97% vaccination coverage in 2016 compared to other nations of the Americas.

This was revealed by Deputy Chief Medical Officer (DCMO) Dr. Karen Boyle during the orientation and commencement of a two-day training programme for recent medical graduands held at the Grand Coastal Inn.

Deputy Chief Medical Officer (DCMO) Dr. Karen Boyle.

Dr. Boyle said that the consistent achievement of the programme through the leadership of Dr. Ertenesa Hamilton is commendable. She, however, noted that the country’s regional vaccination coverage shows that all children were not offered equal opportunity.

“Some regions posed a challenge to provide adequate vaccination coverage especially regions one, seven, eight and nine, where in some areas the coverage was as low as 70%,” the DCMO explained.

According to Dr. Boyle, there is much to be done to achieve equity and reduce the disparities in the healthcare sector between the hinterland communities and the urban communities.

Guyana currently provides immunisation for 17 antigens for the under-five population, as well as special groups such as Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) positive patients, children in orphanages, healthcare workers, and travellers.

Earlier this year, at the opening of the Quarterly Review meeting for Maternal and Child Health Expanded Programme on Immunisation, Minister of Public Health Volda Lawrence said that vaccination coverage is an area that needs constant surveillance.

“It is imperative for our facilities to be improved and up to standard. We must have adequately trained personnel in all our Regions so that we lessen the complaints about unprofessional behaviour and attitudes as we improve the level of patient care. We must implement standards and best practices for our Clinics and Health Centre,” the minister emphasised.

The National Health Strategy 2013-2020 seeks to ensure Guyanese are among the healthiest in the Caribbean and the Americas.

 

By: Neola Damon

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