St. Kitts and Nevis commemorates 16th Vaccination Week in the Americas

From the SKNIS

BASSETTERE, St. Kitts – To commemorate the 16th Vaccination Week in the Americas 2018 in St. Kitts and in Nevis, the Ministries of Health will be having a number of activities through the week of April 21-28.

Minister of State with responsibility for Health, the Hon. Wendy Phipps, in her address to the nation, outlined that in spite of sustained achievements in vaccination coverage at the local level, there are still a number of challenges to be confronted to improve the federation’s immunization records.

“Every effort must be made to close immunization gaps in order to achieve healthcare for all, as enshrined in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs),” she said. “For us here in St. Kitts and Nevis, this calls for us to do our part in encouraging parents and guardians to vaccinate their infants and school-aged children and ensuring that there is adequate governmental support to finance our national immunization programme.”

Against this backdrop, the week of activities will be centered on the sensitization and education of the public on the benefits and importance of vaccinations.

The week of activities is slated to include sensitization sessions at the health centres and hospitals regarding the introduction of HPV (Human Papilloma Virus) vaccines to the federation from April 23–27, the administration of influenza vaccine to at-risk groups including the elderly, people with chronic conditions, and health care workers.

Additionally, a “Mop Up” campaign will be held at all health centres throughout the week to get children aged 1-5 brought up to date with measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine immunization coverage. There will also be a re-sensitization programme on Hepatitis B vaccine, cold chain management and elimination of mother-to-child transmission (EMTCT) of HIV, tuberculosis and congenital syphilis at the JNF General hospital on April 24 and 26.

“I encourage every citizen and resident of St. Kitts and Nevis to support the various activities planned for the observance of Vaccination Week in the Americas 2018,” said Minister Phipps, as she reiterated that residents should feel empowered to access the 17 health centres in the federation and take advantage of the services they offer.