Basseterre, St. Kitts, April 23, 2019 (SKNIS): The Federal Ministry of Health has planned a number of activities in celebration of Vaccination Week in the Americas 2019, which runs from Saturday, April 20 to Saturday, April 27, under the regional slogan “Protect Your Community. Do Your Part. #GetVax”.
During the period April 23-25, health officials will carry out a Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) Vaccine Promotion and Sensitization at Prenatal and Child Health Clinics. Health Education on Vaccine Preventable Diseases and Vector borne Diseases and Health Education on Vaccination Schedule in Nurseries, Pre-Schools and Daycare Centres will be done from April 23-26, as well as a “Mop-Up” Vaccination Campaign to Address Defaulter Children up to the age of 5 years. In Nevis, a Measles Simulation Presentation to Healthcare Workers will be done on Tuesday, April 23.
Addressing the nation in commemoration of the week, the Honourable Senator Wendy Phipps, Minister of State with Responsibility for Health, noted that this year’s celebration is geared towards educating persons on the importance of vaccination and their everyday health.
“As with all prior national promotions on the benefits of vaccination, this year’s awareness campaigns of the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO) will again seek to encourage our people to protect their health and that of our loved ones by getting vaccinated,” said Minister Phipps. “The campaign is also intended to help close the gaps in global immunization coverage, advocate for the transition from childhood immunization to immunization throughout the life course and promote access to and equity in vaccination for all people, regardless of their age or socio-economic status.”
Senator Phipps said that according to WHO and PAHO there are over 25 vaccine-preventable diseases known to man. She added that an all hands on deck approach is necessary as it relates to educating persons on the importance of being vaccinated.
“As a result of this, it behooves governments, parents, and stakeholders in the global healthcare industry to consistently promote immunization. In so doing, we will protect global citizens from diseases and infections while helping to improve their standard and quality of life,” she said.
Minister Phipps used the occasion to welcome all persons to participate in the week of activities as all events planned were done for their benefit.
“Every citizen and resident of St. Kitts and Nevis is encouraged to support the various activities planned in observance of Vaccination Week in the Americas 2019. The Ministries of Health encourage citizens and residents to freely access the health services of our Federation’s 17 health centres, where our District Medical Officers (DMOs) and community-based nurses are ready to assist persons in need. They welcome the opportunity to respond to your health related questions and concerns,” Senator Phipps stated.
She commended health officials for their hard work and dedication and noted that St. Kitts and Nevis’ Community Nurses and Environmental Health Officers will be the key personnel responsible for most of the activities marking Vaccination Week in the Americas 2019.
This year’s celebration of the 17th Vaccination Week in the Americas – being led by PAHO – coincides with the WHOs 8th Anniversary of World Immunization Week that is being globally observed from April 24-30, 2019, under the theme “Protected Together: Vaccines Work”.