The Ministry of Public Health is on track to meet it’s 2017 immunisation targets for Yellow Fever, Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR).
Minister of Public Health Volda Lawrence informed the National Assembly on Wednesday that as of September, the Ministry had completed 68 out of its 2017 vaccination coverage target of 75 percent.
This, she, noted has allowed the country to be disease free, despite there being a vaccine preventative outbreak in Brazil (Yellow Fever) and Venezuela (Measles), during the year. “Guyana remains free of these diseases due to the strengthening of active surveillance, early response and capacity building, not only of health workers but other stakeholders,” the Minister said.
Further, the Minister noted that Guyana not only continues to consistently maintain high coverage but is also the trendsetter within the Caribbean region, with regards to, the introduction of new antigens. She cited the example of the country’s re-introduction of the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) vaccine in schools in its fight against cervical cancer.
Other achievements of the immunization programme include the acquisition of seven domestic refrigerators and eight solar refrigerators through funding from GAVI (an overseas-based vaccine alliance) for Regions One, Two, Four, Six, Seven and Nine.
Additionally, solar-powered refrigerators were installed in Regions Seven and Nine, more specifically in the areas of Annai, Issano, Kamarang, and Philippi which are considered to be the remotest areas in those regions. This Minister Lawrence stressed has never happened before in Guyana’s history.
The cold chain management system in Guyana has also received special attention and will see a consultant travelling to Guyana quarterly to examine and improve the cold chain management system.